HR Announcement- Bargaining Bulletin #17 from Lisa Castle

The following message is being sent on behalf of Lisa Castle, AVP, Human Resources, to Heads Up Vancouver and Okanagan. This memo is also available online at http://www.hr.ubc.ca/collective-bargaining/bargaining-bulletin-17/.

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The purpose of this memorandum is to provide you with an update on developments in collective bargaining at UBC. An overview of collective bargaining (including information on the bargaining units) is available at http://www.hr.ubc.ca/collective-bargaining/.

As we previously advised you, members of BCGEU representing child care staff at the Vancouver campus rejected the tentative agreement reached in November, 2011. The parties intend to return to the bargaining table on February 13 and 27.

It is concerning to us that we have only met twice with CUPE 2950 since May 2011. Aside from the Provincial Government’s mandate for bargaining, there are issues to be discussed. The union has restricted their availability to meet and they have now advised the University that they intend to wait until UBC’s bargaining team is ready to discuss the mandate for 2012 bargaining before they return to the bargaining table.

CUPE 116 and the University continue to meet and are making progress on non-monetary issues. We are scheduled to meet again on February 9.

We also bargain separately with CUPE 116 for staff who work in the Aquatic Centre. We are moving forward on language issues and are scheduled to meet again on February 16.

We have met a number of times in January with the bargaining committee of CUPE 2278 responsible for negotiating on behalf of teaching assistants, tutors and markers. We have signed off some agreed upon changes to non-monetary items, and return to the table on February 8.

CUPE 2278 also represents instructors in the English Language Institute and bargains with the University separately for this group. Substantial progress has been made on language items at this table. We met last week, and are currently looking to schedule more dates.

On a related matter, the University has been made aware that there is some confusion about the Provincial Government’s net zero mandate and how that has been applied to some employee groups at the University.

To be clear, the net zero mandate has been applied to negotiations with the UBC Faculty Association and the Association of Administrative and Professional Staff (AAPS). PSEC approved both of those agreements negotiated in 2010 as having met the net zero mandate: neither agreement resulted in any increased cost to the agreement. This includes no general salary increase or any other kind of generally applied compensation increase for the faculty and staff covered by them.

What can be confusing is that the mandate does not attempt to interfere with provisions negotiated in agreements that provide for compensation systems that allow for individual increases. For instance, all three CUPE locals have negotiated a system that provides for step increases based on length of service in the position. Many years ago, the Faculty Association and AAPS negotiated allowable increases based on performance. The Provincial Government’s mandate has been clear that these types of increases may continue to take place during a net zero mandate. Indeed, this has been the case for most, if not all, of the mandates issued since 1993.

There have also been suggestions that Professor Toope, who does not belong to any employee association at the University, received a salary increase last year. I wish to be absolutely clear on this point: Professor Toope has not received a salary increase since he joined UBC in 2006. In fact, the value of the compensation package for the President of UBC has been unchanged since 2002-03 – a full decade. There are small variations in his compensation on an annual basis due to the University’s required contributions for statutory benefits.

Thank you for your interest. We will continue to provide updates as the process unfolds.