Category: Bargaining Updates 2010

UBC and Faculty Association Reach Tentative Agreement

Just before midnight on Friday, November 19th the bargaining teams for UBC and the Faculty Association reached a tentative agreement to conclude a new Collective Agreement for the period July 1, 2010 to June 30, 2012.

UBC Releases Misleading Communiqué

The UBC administration has recently released a bargaining communiqué, dated Thursday, November 4th. The communiqué contains a series of misleading statements, some of which might charitably be described as “spin” and some of which are completely false.

University of Toronto Arbitration Award Released

On October 12, 2010, Arbitrator Martin Teplitsky released his decision in the interest arbitration between the University of Toronto and the University of Toronto Faculty Association.

Ubyssey Claims FA Gave Up Right to Strike Earlier This Year

You may have woken up the other day to a headline in the Ubyssey claiming that the Faculty Association bargaining team bargained away the “right to strike earlier this year.” We’re still wondering who provided them with this information.

Zero-Zero Mandate, Revisited

Some members have been asking if the University and the Association had reached agreement on any of the money issues that were on the table during bargaining before the deadline for submitting issues to interest arbitration arrived (Article 9.05b of the Collective Agreement). The short answer is no.

Faculty Association and University Move to Interest Arbitration

Under the provisions of the Collective Agreement, if a negotiated agreement has not been reached within six weeks of the receipt by the University of official notification of the operating grant allocated to it, the matters in dispute shall be submitted to binding arbitration. This type of arbitration, which is designed to resolve a bargaining impasse, is known as “interest arbitration”, as opposed to rights or grievance arbitrations which resolve disputes about the interpretation or application of the Collective Agreement.

Faculty Association Negotiations at an Impasse

Joint Communication from the University of British Columbia and the UBC Faculty Association

Following nineteen days of negotiations which began in February of this year, the University and the Faculty Association have reached an impasse in negotiations for a new collective agreement.

Faculty Association Makes Compensation Proposal

Today the Faculty Association made a compensation proposal to the University covering the period July 1, 2010 to June 30, 2011. Our compensation proposal was delayed because the University only recently received its budget letter. The budget letter plays a crucial role in negotiations at UBC, both formally and substantively.

July 1st, and Then What?

Our Collective Agreement has a technical expiry date of July 1st, 2010. Don’t panic. There’s nothing to worry about if we don’t reach agreement by that date. We have what’s called an “evergreen clause” (Article 26 in the Framework Agreement) in our Collective Agreement, meaning that it remains in force until such time as we reach a final agreement.

Minimum Scales for Sessional Faculty

One of the basic ways to prevent teaching-intensive positions from becoming a ghetto for the academics who uphold UBC’s teaching mission is to guarantee respectable minimum salaries.

Privacy of Records and Communications

In 2009, the Faculty Association had to work hard to ensure that UBC withdrew a bad privacy policy – one that would have given the university access to all of our private information, including in filing cabinets, emails and offices.

Addressing Rumours: No Salary Offer Has Been Put on the Table

We recently received an email from a member, saying that there were rumours circulating that the Faculty Association had been offered a general rise in salary at the bargaining table, and we had turned it down. This rumour, of course, has caused concerns among our members.

Campus Surveillance

Technology has made surveillance, including that done surreptitiously, so easy that its use is growing dramatically, often forcing us to surrender our privacy for no tangible or even foreseeable benefit.

Excellence in Research. How About Professional Development Funds?

UBC claims to rank in the top 40 internationally for research-intensive universities. The university states that this achievement in excellence “is supported by strategic efforts to promote funding success, research infrastructure, the recruitment and retention of talented faculty members, and knowledge mobilization.”

UBC’s Career Advancement Plan Salary Structure Explained

Salaries in most jobs are characterized by seniority-based pay systems. This is partially to account for increasing productivity over time, but primarily it is designed to defer compensation from the early part of the employee’s career to the latter part.

Heads, Directors, and Associate Deans

A big black hole: that’s where heads, directors, and associate deans live in the Collective Agreement with UBC.  We have no guidelines in our Agreement to protect the department’s voice in appointing heads.

Promotion & Tenure: What’s Fair?

Our bargaining Proposal 2 flows from the premise that UBC faculty members have the right to promotion and tenure processes that are fair. We should be able to trust that the evidence is appropriate, that the processes are iterative and responsive, that there are safeguards and mechanisms to ensure accountability.

Bargaining Goals for Sessional Faculty

The FA has three big goals in our Proposal 6: to tidy up the very messy systems for counting and paying sessional faculty for their work; to create more job-security for our most vulnerable colleagues; and to create a real career-path with promotions and reviews for our dedicated full-time sessional faculty.

Spotlight on Workload

Our proposal to the university on faculty workloads (Proposal 5) aims to make sure that our members have a healthy and productive work environment, with workloads assigned collegially, fairly and equitably.

Salary and Benefit Proposals Await Further Information

As of our last bargaining session (April 27) the Association has not made any concrete salary or benefit proposals to the university (Proposals 9 and 10). We hope to be in a position to do so at our next bargaining session (May 26).

University Makes First Settlement Offer

We have bargained with the university weekly (usually twice a week) between March 1 and April 27. That amount of intensive bargaining time has allowed both the Faculty Association and the university to present their proposals in great detail, and also answer any questions the other side had about the objectives that were trying to be achieved through specific proposals.

University’s Rollover Proposal Declined

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.

University’s Rollover Proposal

Before the University tabled its proposal with the Faculty Association, they suggested that the Association consider a two-year “rollover agreement” which would write in the 0/0% salary increases recommended by the province for the public sector but not otherwise discuss or negotiate any revisions or new language for our Collective Agreement.

Bargaining Begins

On February 1 the parties met for the first time to exchange proposals and provide a general overview of the problems the proposals are intended to solve or the outcomes the proposals are intended to achieve.