On February 1 the university repeated a proposal they had made informally a few times previously in the past several months, that we just ”roll over” the Collective Agreement for a two year period. (We described this in a previous blog.) The Association has politely declined the rollover proposal.
When an agreement is rolled over it means that no provisions in the agreement are changed, except the end date. It is unusual to roll over an agreement, because new circumstances or problems arise during the life of the Agreement, and each agreement builds on previous agreements. It is particularly unusual to roll over a four-year agreement such as ours.
It is not clear why the University appears reluctant to put in the time and effort necessary to come to an agreement with our members. In our view there are significant issues that need to be addressed in this agreement and we are willing to take the time and effort necessary to address them.
The only rationale the university gave for its rollover proposal was that it would ensure that CPI, Merit, and PSA awards are processed on time. Otherwise, if negotiations are not concluded expeditiously, these increases may be processed after July 1. It is true that, because of the way our Agreement is currently worded, CPI, Merit, and PSA cannot be processed until a new agreement is ratified. Every single time the Agreement is renewed we face the possibility that CPI, Merit, and PSA awards will be delayed. This is a peculiarity of the wording of our current Agreement, which the Association would be more than willing to address, if the University would like. However, we have lived with implementation delays for decades, and we have never previously regarded this as a serious constraint on our ability to bargain.