Last week the University contacted the Association and suggested they were prepared to make a new offer in the week of December 10. Although we started meeting with the University at the beginning of the week, unfortunately, it turned out that they were not, in fact, prepared to make an offer until today. The University tabled an across-the-board (ATB) offer of 1.95% and 1.90%.
This offer would simply not allow us to catch up with settlements at our major comparator universities, principally the University of Toronto, but would in fact result in faculty salaries at UBC falling further behind.
The Association responded with a counter proposal of 3.7% and 3.7%. We also dropped some, but not all, of our other cost proposals. This was not something that was easy for us. After two years of zero wage increases, 3.7% and 3.7% would still leave us with a four-year decline in real income. That is, not only would we be losing ground to the University of Toronto, but also to inflation.
The University decided that the gap between the parties (approx. 1.75% per year) was too great to be bridged, and declined to proceed with negotiations at this time.
The parties will meet again during the week of February 4th for mediated negotiations, which will culminate with an arbitrator ruling on outstanding issues, if any.
In the meantime we will continue to prepare for these proceedings during the week of Feb 4th.