The UBC community is invited to comment on the proposed amendment of Policy #64.
The University employs over 15,000 faculty and staff comprised of both unionized and non-unionized employees. Arising out of labour negotiations, there is the possibility that one or more of the University’s unions may engage in legal strike activity. The proposed amendment of Policy #64 modernizes the language in Policy #64 while maintaining flexibility to accommodate differences in campus-specific operations. It recognizes that UBC’s employees may, subject to limited exceptions, choose not to cross picket lines during a labour dispute and establishes a process for doing so. The proposed amendment of Policy #64 provides guidance for the continuation of operations in academic and administrative units and clearly articulates the University’s expectations of employees in the event of a legal strike.
The primary proposed amendment of Policy #64 is that it now identifies the exceptional circumstances in which the University may instruct members of AAPS and excluded Management and Professional employees to cross picket lines and attend work. Labour disputes take many forms, last for varying periods, and result in differing impacts. Current Policy #64 provides no flexibility for the University to respond to a particular set of circumstances. The proposed amendment of Policy #64 seeks to create a degree of flexibility without undermining the general principle. The flexibility is based on three limited exceptions:
1. in compliance with an Essential Services Order issued by the Labour Relations Board which designates certain employees as providing an essential service;
2. in facilities or departments where an Essential Services Order requires the University to utilize managers prior to utilizing unionized employees to perform the essential services; and
3. to the extent necessary to maintain minimal operations or core services as described in the Policy.
The following are examples of minimal operations or core services:
1. maintaining minimal service to ensure research work isn’t lost due to equipment failure or inadequate monitoring;
2. maintaining core health and safety services that are important but do not reach essential services standards;
3. maintaining facilities in minimal operational manner (e.g. maintaining sanitary conditions in student residences); and
4. maintaining living collections (e.g. animal care services).
The other key amendments to Policy #64 are:
1. It articulates the expectation of respectful interactions during a strike.
2. It includes a cross-reference to the University Senates’ Strike Policies and Guidelines which address the academic consequences on students in the event of a strike.
3. It omits outdated references to specific collective agreements.
The proposed amendment of Policy #64 is now being published and all members of the University community are encouraged to provide their comments. Please submit feedback to the Office of the University Counsel at firstname.lastname@example.org by November 4, 2016.