Category: Bargaining Updates 2016

Bargaining Continues, Slowly

The University and Faculty Association Bargaining teams have continued to meet over the past two months, and we have three days of bargaining booked for the last week of June. Progress is being made, slowly. A couple of issues have been resolved and a number of important issues where the parties have some mutual interests are being worked on, and resolution on those issues seems possible.

Term Certainty for Salary Payouts

We are trying to solve a major problem with our proposal #3 (Merit, PSA, and CPI certainty).

The existing language pertaining to Progress Through the Ranks (PTR) contains specific dates for the distribution of this money to faculty members. The 2014-2016 Collective Agreement specifies that the PTR be allocated on July 1, 2014 and July 1, 2015. Normally what would happen is that the 2016-2018 Collective Agreement would specify new dates: July 1, 2016 and July 1, 2017. However since negotiations to renew the Collective Agreement have not yet been completed, the July 1, 2016 payments have been delayed, much like those for 2014 and 2015. This delay happens every bargaining round that is not settled before the Collective Agreement ends and is always a source of considerable irritation by the members.

Tuition Waiver for Spouses/Partners

The Association’s Proposal #8 seeks to transfer a member’s tuition waiver to their spouse or partner, if desired. The tuition waiver permits members to take up to 12 credits per year. Specifically our proposal would allow a member to transfer the tuition waiver to his or her spouse. The Association does not believe that this waiver transfer would add a significant cost to the University, while making it easier to recruit and maintain faculty members. Our members have repeatedly told us that a spousal tuition waiver would help address both recruiting and retention issues.

Maternity/Parental Leave

The Association has proposed a significant revision to the maternity and parental leave Article in our Collective Agreement (Part 3, Article 6). There are a number of particular issues around maternity and parental leaves that we are attempting to solve.

The Pension Issue

Over the past three bargaining rounds we have, through our bargaining blogs, talked frequently about the UBC Faculty Pension issue for Lecturers, Sessionals, and all members working at and beyond age 71. It is sufficiently important to talk about it again.

UBC’s Bizarre Minimum Sessional Salary Scales

UBC does not have a single Sessional salary scale. It has four, and because of that the minimum Sessional salary per section differs greatly among Faculties. This has been a bone of contention between the parties for a very long time, and remains so. The Association has proposed to have a single salary scale which would apply to Sessional Lecturers in all Faculties. The effect of this proposal, if accepted, would be that the minimum salary for a three-credit course section would be the same in every Faculty.

Guest Blog: Educational Leadership Titles

Occasionally the bargaining team asks members for permission to share their thoughts via the bargaining blog. In September 2016, Christina Hendricks, Chair, Instructor Network Leadership Team, sent a letter to the Provosts at UBC Vancouver and UBC Okanagan, the President of the Faculty Association and the Chair of the Okanagan Faculty Committee discussing the need for change in the Educational Leadership titles. The correspondence follows:

As current faculty members in the Educational Leadership stream we are requesting that you advocate a change to our titles to align appropriately with our job descriptions and career trajectories, as well as to parallel our Research stream colleagues. We suggest that titles of Instructor and Senior Instructor be replaced with Assistant Professor of Teaching and Associate Professor of Teaching, respectively. Such a shift in titles would create a sensible, clear trajectory of rank that ends with the extant Professor of Teaching. The University of Toronto has just recently made a change to their instructor/educational leadership stream faculty titles.

General Wage Increase

The Association proposal remains, as it always has been, to provide a general salary increase sufficient to keep pace with inflation and the general state of salaries elsewhere. In particular the Association’s position has always been that on salaries, we should rank at, or just below, the University of Toronto. This latter goal is an important and long-standing objective of the Association. UBC is one of the most profitable, if not the most profitable, university in Canada. It can easily afford to pay salaries comparable with those at the University of Toronto. There is no financial justification for UBC to rank so far down the national salary rankings.


A Lecturer is defined in the Collective Agreement as a person holding an appointment without review for a term of twelve (12) months or less with responsibilities limited to teaching and related duties. Those related duties may include administrative responsibilities normally undertaken by faculty members (i.e., not work normally undertaken by administrative staff). The university has proposed adding service to the duties of Lecturers, something to which the Association is not opposed in principle, although we recognize that with additional responsibilities should come additional compensation.

A Tale of Three Estoppels

As a matter of labour law if a party to a Collective Agreement has knowingly declined to enforce a provision of the Agreement, or where the parties have entered into a practice that is contrary to the plain language of the agreement, they may be estopped from enforcing the actual language of the collective agreement.

Bargaining Resumes

After a long hiatus caused by scheduling difficulties, the Faculty Association and the University resumed bargaining on April 5th and 6th. We are bargaining today and have another 8 full days of bargaining scheduled between now and the end of June. 

Bargaining Begins for 2016-2018

Negotiations between UBC and UBCFA to renew the Collective Agreement that expired on June 30, 2016 began yesterday. Both parties presented all of their proposals.

The University and the Association have started to table specific language. At our next meeting, on February 9, both parties aim to table specific language on all proposals.

Bargaining 2016 – Call for Volunteers

In preparation for the 2016 round of negotiations with the University, the Faculty Association is seeking applications for volunteers for the Bargaining Preparation Committee and the Bargaining Advisory Committee.