Bargaining Preparation Continues

Categories: Bargaining, Bargaining Updates 2019

Preparation for collective bargaining is almost complete. Thank you to the members who have taken the time to fill out the survey, meet with us, or email us with comments and concerns. Your input was crucial for developing the proposals that we will take to the table. On January 17, 2019 the Executive Committee approved the proposals the Association plans to take to the bargaining table. Our first bargaining session with the University is scheduled for the third week of February. As usual, once the parties have exchanged their lists of proposals we will publish both the Association’s proposals and the University’s proposals on our website.

The Executive Committee also formally approved the negotiating team, which consists of: Liz Hodgson (English), Jonathan Ichikawa (Philosophy), Jim Johnson (Economics, UBCO), Alan Richardson (Philosophy), Karen Smith (Microbiology & Immunology) and Deena Rubuliak (Executive Director). Our President, Bronwen Sprout (Library), is an ex-officio member of the team and will join us occasionally at the table. Jim Johnson has once again been appointed as our Chief Negotiator.

We have already agreed on a number of dates for bargaining through mid-June. In order to ensure that we have individuals with the necessary expertise with us at the table, some dates are reserved for bargaining matters pertaining solely to the Library. We are grateful that Anne Olsen (Head, Koerner Library), a member of our bargaining preparation committee, will be joining us at the table on those dates.

We have also had meetings with various members who have expertise in specific issues or problems facing the membership (Educational Leadership issues, Benefit issues, etc.) so we may bring additional members to the table when those issues are being discussed.

It is impossible to predict how long bargaining will take. In the event we have not concluded negotiations by June 30, 2019, the Collective Agreement will continue to be in force, and members will receive the annual lump sum payment, Career Progress Increments, and Merit and PSA Awards on time. If we don’t settle at the table before the end of June 2019, new monetary and other provisions agreed upon or awarded will be implemented and paid out retroactively.

The Faculty Association always comes to the table with the objective and intention of coming to a negotiated agreement that we can put to the members for ratification. However, impasse is always possible. In that case the parties will proceed to binding interest arbitration (two of the last four rounds have ended in arbitration; two have ended in agreement). Consequently, as always, we are preparing for that possible eventuality and are in discussions with our counsel and our accountants to make sure we are ready to deal with an impasse if it occurs.

We negotiate on behalf of you, our members. So please do keep sharing your ideas, insights, and perspectives with us.

Liz Hodgson,
Chair, Bargaining Preparation Committee


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