As anyone who has read the headlines, or gone to the grocery store, or filled their car knows, inflation has recently surged to levels unseen in Canada in over thirty years. And it’s not going to get better in a hurry.
When the Faculty Association negotiates a new Collective Agreement with UBC, one of the issues that often seems intuitive and straightforward is actually an important part of our work to help our members: a General Wage Increase (GWI). There are four main factors that contribute to the core importance of negotiating a strong GWI.
The purpose of the general wage increase (GWI), as Arbitrator Taylor put it, is “to keep pace with inflation and the general state of salaries elsewhere.” [2013 arbitration decision, UBC vs UBCFA, paragraph 111, page 51]. The Collective Agreement Part 1, Article 11.02eii)actually refers to two different price inflation rates: changes in the Vancouver and Canadian Consumer Price Indices. However for purposes of analysis and prediction it is sufficient to look only at a single index. We explain our proposed general increase below.