Bargaining Bulletin #18

April 7, 2015

To: Heads Up – Vancouver and Okanagan
Lisa Castle, VP, Human Resources
Cc: Human Resources
Re: Bargaining Bulletin #18 – Collective Bargaining Update

The purpose of this memorandum is to provide you with a brief update on developments in collective bargaining at UBC.

There has been a significant amount of bargaining activity at UBC over the last few weeks, the highlights of which we would like to share with the community.

While the University has been at the bargaining table for some time with CUPE 2950 (unionized clerical and administrative staff, and Library Assistants), the parties met for the first time last week to exchange proposals for staff represented by CUPE 2950 working in the Chan Centre. This was followed by a second meeting on Apr. 2, 2015, where non-monetary matters were discussed. We have a number of dates scheduled throughout the month of April for further discussions with both the main and Chan Centre tables.

The University and CUPE 116 met on Mar. 27, 2015, for a productive and thorough review of our respective positions. The parties are working on securing new dates in the near future.

There are currently two bargaining tables active with CUPE 2278: one representing Component 1 – Teaching Assistants; and the other representing Component 2 – English Language Instructors in the English Language Institute of Continuing Studies. Bargaining commenced with Component 2 on Mar. 24, 2015, and with Component 1 on Mar. 30, 2015. A second meeting with Component 1 was held on Apr. 1, 2015. The discussions have been respectful and productive, and the parties are working on securing additional bargaining dates.

In Bargaining Bulletin #15, we indicated that the University and the Faculty Association will be proceeding to interest arbitration. The parties have signed a Memorandum of Agreement that itemizes the proposals on which agreement has been reached (and they are numerous), the proposals the parties have mutually agreed to withdraw, and the matters still in dispute that the parties may submit to arbitration for resolution. The arbitration dates are set for Oct. 20-22, 2015. The Arbitration Panel is composed of Colin Taylor, Q.C. (the same chair as for the last arbitration in 2013), Dr. Judith Osborne, Vice-President, Legal Affairs and Secretary to the Board for Simon Fraser University (UBC nominee), and Dr. Michael Conlon, Executive Director, Confederation of University Faculty Associations, BC, and recently Executive Director of the Association of Administrative and Professional Staff (AAPS) at UBC (UBCFA nominee).

Since the signing of the Memorandum of Agreement described above, the Faculty Association has been publishing a series of blogs on proposals discussed in bargaining. The University will not engage in debate with the Faculty Association about proposals away from the bargaining table, and we will await the decision of the Arbitration Panel. It is likely not surprising that the University does not agree with all of the Faculty Association’s comments about the proposals, nor assertions about the University’s motivations or intentions towards faculty members. However, we do agree with their general description of bargaining this year as set out in their blog on Feb. 1, and wish to share it with all of you as a statement equally made by the University:

Both the Association and the University engaged in open, honest dialogue and worked very hard to come to agreement on a number of very important issues. Though we wish more had been resolved, we enter the arbitration phase pleased with what we’ve accomplished, so going to arbitration should not be considered a failure in any way.

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

An overview of collective bargaining (including information on the bargaining units) is available at

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