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Bulletin #7- January 18, 2013

Faculty Association bargaining update

Despite progress on non-monetary issues made during mediation, including improvements regarding tenure, the university and Faculty Association have been unable to reach a final settlement. As a result, the Framework Agreement for faculty and librarians will be renewed for two years and outstanding monetary issues will be resolved at arbitration. This process follows mutually agreed-upon negotiation procedures.

In October 2012, the university and the Faculty Association spent a week in mediation to discuss outstanding monetary and non-monetary issues and to negotiate associated changes to the wording of the Framework Agreement. In the university’s view, the mediation resulted in substantial progress, including agreements about important language changes to the Framework Agreement which will now be implemented. These included changes to the tenure and promotion provisions that, coupled with changes that were agreed to during negotiations, will streamline and clarify the tenure and promotion process. The changes will also improve the overall transparency of the university's tenure and promotion decisions.

In December 2012, the mediator issued his recommendations for settlement, which as written were, and continue to be, acceptable to the university. They included:

  • across-the-board wage increases in each year of a two-year agreement
  • an increase in the value of both merit and career progress increments, and,
  • a change to the merit distribution rules.

However, the recommendations did not lead to a settlement. Accordingly, the parties attended a final day of mediation Jan. 15 as provided under the established process.

At this mediation, the association raised five non-monetary issues and made a monetary demand significantly above what the university had offered at the October mediation and was based on the university's ability to pay. The university told the mediator that it was open and receptive to discussing the non-monetary issues raised by the association but not the association's monetary demand. In fact, the university developed proposals responding to four of the association's five non-monetary issues. However, although the association had raised these issues, it chose not to engage in any discussion of the issues with the university and it did not ask to see the university's proposals.

Instead, the association presented a "take it or leave it" package to the university which included a demand that the university spend an additional $3.9 million on career progress increments during the two years of the proposed salary settlement. This would be an ongoing cost of $2.6M annually thereafter. This amount is well outside of the university's ability to pay and so the university declined the offer.

Thank you,

Kim Hart
Associate Vice President
Faculty Relations and Academic Administration

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