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Bulletin #1- April 15, 2012

With the University of Victoria continuing or initiating collective bargaining with all of its employee groups in April and May, it's a good time to provide our community with an update on the bargaining process.

We are currently in a transition between two provincial bargaining mandates - the 2010 "net zero" mandate and the new 2012 "cooperative gains" mandate. Information about both is available at the Public Sector Employers' Council website.

Agreements concluded since 2010

Under the 2010 mandate, we reached two-year agreements with the:

  1. Faculty Association;
  2. Professional Employees' Association (PEA); and
  3. CUPE local 4163 (Component 3 which covers Sessional Instructors).

All of these agreements expire in 2012 and we will be commencing new negotiations with each of the groups in the coming weeks.

Agreements still to come under the 2010 mandate

Despite hard work on both sides over many bargaining sessions, and more recently, with the assistance of a mediator, we have yet to conclude bargaining under the 2010 "net zero" mandate with CUPE locals 917, 951 and 4163 (Components 1&2). At the recommendation of the mediator, the parties are currently recessed from mediation until the university receives provincial approval to bargain under the government's 2012 "cooperative gains" mandate. We are anticipating being back in mediation in early May.

Strike vote

In the interim, we have been advised by CUPE that local 917 will be taking a strike vote on April 19. Local 917 represents UVic's trades, grounds workers, security officers, facility attendants and janitorial, maintenance and food service workers, among others. It is not uncommon for a union to take a strike vote during the collective bargaining process and we respect their right to do so. Recently, for example, strike votes have been organized by CUPE at UBC and by BCGEU with the provincial government.

With mediation still underway and the required essential services yet to be designated we do not believe that any job action is imminent. We remain confident that the 2012 mandate will provide a basis for a renewed collective agreement.

With that in mind, we are anticipating that there will be much collective bargaining at UVic through the spring. While respecting the confidentiality protocols typical of collective bargaining at UVic, we will do our best to keep you informed of developments.

If you have any questions about this bulletin, please feel free to contact your Human Resources Consultant.

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