UBCFA Faculty Focus: Issues Update & Bargaining News


Dear Colleagues,

Welcome back! I hope you enjoyed a relaxing holiday and are now getting back into the rhythm of the new term.

The Association turns 100 – Celebrating our Centennial:

This year marks the 100th year anniversary of the UBC Faculty Association. To mark this important anniversary, the Association will be holding a number of special events and celebrations over the course of the year. Stayed tuned for more information.

Collective Bargaining:

Further to my brief note to you before the break, the Faculty Association is finalizing negotiations with the University. Once finalized, the Association will hold a member meeting to discuss the changes prior to holding an electronic vote to ratify the new agreement. More details to follow.

Current issues:

An important grievance matter on which the Executive Committee voted unanimously to send to an arbitration hearing concerns the indemnification of Faculty Association members who are named in a legal action (human rights, defamation, other legal action) as a result of their work for the University. The Faculty Association believed we had effectively resolved the matter with the University, but we were informed in writing that the University accepted the settlement only in part. Furthermore, the Faculty Association has become aware that the Office of University Counsel has unilaterally reduced the scope of coverage, a matter which was negotiated and agreed to between the parties in 2012. The Association has therefore expanded the grievance to include the scope of coverage. If you or any of your colleagues are threatened with legal action, please contact us for guidance before discussing the matter with representatives of the University.

We are completing the arbitration hearing regarding whether the Associate Deans, having been excluded – as administrators – from membership in the bargaining unit can participate in promotion and tenure processes under the Collective Agreement. We expect to have a decision from the arbitrator sometime in the spring.

Other FA/Executive Activities:

The Executive Committee has established an ad-hoc committee on collegial governance. This committee, consisting of Executive and general members, will investigate matters related to collegial governance, trends at UBC and across the country, and make a recommendation to the Executive Committee on how the FA might better engage with UBC on both policy and other areas of faculty engagement and consultation.

The Executive Committee will be conducting a review of the Association’s investment policies with a view to ensuring that the FA is not investing in fossil fuel and other climate damaging companies.

We are also gearing up for our annual election and more information will follow in the next few weeks on the positions available. If you would like to run for a position on the Executive, or if you would like to volunteer for any of the FA standing committees, please do not hesitate to contact myself or our Executive Director for more information.

The Faculty Association works hard to promote your interests, protect your academic freedom and uphold your right to an equitable and respectful workplace. Whether we’re dealing with broader issues affecting our more than 3300 Association members, or workplace problems relating to you personally, we’re here to help.


Bronwen Sprout

UBC Faculty Association 100 Anniversary wordmark