Bargaining Update: Lecturers

Categories: Bargaining, Bargaining Updates 2019, Lecturers

Lecturers are the fastest-growing cohort of faculty at UBC, but their terms of work have not kept pace with their increasing presence on our campuses. Lecturers are designed to be a teaching stream with teaching and service as their assigned responsibilities; they are full-time salaried faculty members with one- to three-year appointments and a presumptive right of reappointment as long as the work is available.  But many other elements of their work-lives at UBC need attention.

UBC used to have a tenure-track teaching stream called the “instructor stream” which consisted of Instructors and Senior Instructors. In the 2010 round of bargaining, the Parties agreed to turn this tenure-track stream into the Educational Leadership stream, with a new mix of responsibilities in teaching, pedagogy-related scholarship, educational leadership, and service. What UBC lost in the process was a rank of full-time, salaried, permanent, dedicated and experienced university faculty focused primarily on teaching. In 2016 we negotiated language that made Lecturers more like the old Instructor stream, with full-year appointments and the possibility of renewable multi-year terms.

In this round we would like to continue to develop this stream to ensure that we are providing appropriate terms and conditions of appointment to fit with the reality of work for our Lecturers. We see these proposals as consistent with what we agreed to in the last round: to make Lecturers a teaching stream upon whom UBC can rely for expert, experienced, stable instruction and administrative service. Our key proposals to this end:

CPI Schedule

We propose to give Lecturers the same Career Progress Increment entitlement as the Instructor stream had: 21 career progress increments available to them over 17 years. Lecturers currently have 14 increments over 12 years. This is a non-cost item and will result in very little actual reallocation of CPI money. But it provides significant recognition for colleagues in Lecturer appointments with many years of service.

Merit Awards

We want to ensure that Lecturers are not discriminated against in the awarding of merit increases. Like the other salaried classifications, Lecturers are eligible for merit awards, but Lecturers are not getting their pro rata share of these awards. We want to address that.

Eligibility for Study Leave

Currently, Lecturers are not eligible for study leaves. University teaching requires staying abreast of current developments in both the research and the teaching practices of one’s field. However, most Lecturers teach 10 to 11 months per year and have no time to engage in these important activities on paid time. Many Lecturers will have long careers at UBC. We think that, like other salaried faculty members, Librarians, and Program Directors, they should have a similar opportunity to pursue study and professional development of benefit to the member and the university.

Clearer Lecturer Language 

The language describing the terms and conditions for Lecturers currently exists in Part 4, in several different articles, including some that ostensibly have nothing to do with Lecturers.  We think that a section specifically designed to talk about terms and conditions of employment of Lecturers would be less confusing. We have heard from many Lecturers that the language of the Agreement is not being respected. This may be because the language is scattered throughout Part 4 We propose to move the language describing Lecturer work into an article helpfully labelled “Lecturers”.

Severance

There are currently no severance provisions for Lecturers should their contracts not be renewed owing to a lack of work. Many Lecturers who had previously been Continuing Sessional Lecturers told us that when they became Lecturers that they felt their jobs had become less secure; they were not wrong. Even though it’s not the same thing as job security, Sessional Lecturers with continuing appointments who are laid off because the work disappears are at least entitled to severance. We propose to introduce reasonable severance provisions for Lecturers so that they have some buffers and can make alternative plans if their work dries up.

Longer Terms

Many Lecturers already have long work histories at UBC. Over 100 of our current collegaues in that classification have held their appointments for over a decade. 41 have been working here as Lecturers since the last century. Clearly these are as close to permanent employees as someone without tenure can be. We think that long-serving Lecturers should be entitled to appointments longer than 3 years; we have proposed 5-year terms.  Lecturers are an important component of our faculty complement who help to meet the teaching and learning mission of the institution; they deserve to have the job security of longer appointment terms.


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