Information about bargaining at UVic
Welcome to the University of Victoria's bargaining information website.
This site is intended to provide background on:
- The university's negotiations with its various faculty and staff groups.
- The economic and financial context for these negotiations.
- Progress on negotiations in other publicly-funded sectors.
- The principles which underlie the university's approach to bargaining.
- The provincial rules under which university negotiations must operate.
Over the course of 2012, the university will be bargaining with six different employee groups (four CUPE locals, the Professional Employees Association and the Faculty Association). This site also contains background information on each of the bargaining groups.
The six groups involved in bargaining this year include:
CUPE 917 - athletic department, food services, grounds maintenance and janitorial employees, security officers and trades people.
CUPE 951 - office employees, library assistants, technicians and child care workers.
CUPE 4163 - Components 1 and 2 - teaching assistants, lab assistants and French and English language instructors.
CUPE 4163 - Component 3 - sessional instructors and music performance instructors.
The Faculty Association - regular faculty, senior instructors, limited-term faculty appointments and librarians.
The Professional Employees Association (PEA) - administrative and academic professional employees.
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 on the Public Sector Employers' Council website.
Status Update: December 3, 2012
- CUPE 917 - Collective bargaining has concluded with a four-year agreement that bridges both the 2010 "net zero" mandate and the new 2012 "cooperative gains" mandate.
- CUPE 951 - Collective bargaining has concluded with a four-year agreement that bridges both the 2010 "net zero" mandate and the new 2012 "cooperative gains" mandate.
- CUPE 4163 - Components 1 and 2 - Collective bargaining has concluded with a four-year agreement that bridges both the 2010 "net zero" mandate and the new 2012 "cooperative gains" mandate.
- CUPE 4163 - Component 3 - The parties successfully concluded collective bargaining under the 2010 "net zero" mandate in 2011. Bargaining under the 2012 "cooperative gains" mandate started in November 2012.
- The Faculty Association - The parties successfully concluded collective bargaining under the 2010 "net zero" mandate in 2010. Bargaining under the 2012 "cooperative gains" mandate started in Spring 2012. In October, and with the assistance of mediator Colin Taylor, the University of Victoria and the UVic Faculty Association have been working towards reaching mutually acceptable language in the Framework Agreement and establishing the terms of a new salary and benefits settlement for faculty and librarians. The parties have now received recommendations from Mr. Taylor and are currently scheduling the next steps in this process through his office.
- The Professional Employees Association (PEA) - The parties successfully concluded collective bargaining under the 2010 "net zero" mandate in 2010 and recently concluded bargaining with a two-year agreement under the 2012 "cooperative gains" mandate.
We will update this site as new information becomes available. You can contact us through email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Bulletin #8- January 30, 2013
UVic and CUPE 4163(3) ratify tentative agreement
In mid December, negotiators for the University of Victoria and campus CUPE local 4163 reached a tentative agreement, subject to ratification. This agreement has since been ratified by both the union and the university.
CUPE local 4163 (component 3) represents sessional instructors and music performance instructors. Consistent with the provincial government’s 2012 Cooperative Gains mandate, the parties agreed to a 2 per cent across-the-board general wage increase retroactive to May 1, 2012 and a further 1.38 per cent across the board general wage increase effective May 1, 2013.
Four-year agreements were also reached with CUPE locals 951, 917 and 4163 (Component 1 & 2) earlier last fall. All of those agreements have since been ratified by both the unions and the university. The university also reached a tentative agreement for 2012 and 2013 with the campus local of the Professional Employees Association. That agreement has since been ratified by the PEA and by the university.
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.
Associate Vice President
Faculty Relations and Academic Administration
Bulletin #6- December 3, 2012
General Collective Bargaining Update
As was reported in the many updates this past summer and fall, it has always been the university’s desire to reach negotiated settlements at the earliest possible opportunity. While these agreements were elusive at times, we are pleased to report that several tentative agreements have been reached in recent weeks and are now in various stages of ratification/implementation.1. CUPE locals 917 and 951
Negotiators for the University of Victoria and campus CUPE locals 917 and 951 reached tentative agreements in late October. Both the unions and the university have now ratified these tentative agreements and will be proceeding to implement the changes agreed to. The four-year deals provide for no across-the-board increases in the first two years (2010 and 2011) and two per cent general increases in 2012 and 2013. The agreements are consistent with both the provincial government’s “net-zero” bargaining mandate for 2010-11 and its current “cooperative gains” mandate. CUPE 917 represents approximately 500 trades, grounds workers, security officers, facility attendants and janitorial, maintenance and food service workers, while CUPE 951 represents approximately 850 office employees, library assistants, technicians and child care workers.2. Professional Employees’ Association
In mid-October, the university reached a tentative agreement for 2012 and 2013 with the campus local of the Professional Employees Association. That agreement has since been ratified by the PEA and by the university. This agreement provides for general wage increases of two per cent in each year of the contract. The PEA represents approximately 850 administrative and academic professionals at the university. These employees work as counsellors, instructors, system analysts, fundraisers, scientific technicians, engineers, advisers and more.3. CUPE local 4163 (Components 1 and 2)
In early November, the university also reached a tentative agreement with CUPE local 4163 (Components 1 and 2) which represents teaching assistants, lab instructors/assistants, and second language instructors and cultural assistants. Consistent with the provincial government’s 2010 Net Zero mandate, the parties agreed to no general wage increase in both 2010 and 2011.
Consistent with the provincial government’s 2012 Cooperative Gains mandate, the parties agreed to a two per cent across the board general wage increase on Nov, 1, 2012 and Sept. 1, 2013 for Component 2. Component 1 agreed to a one per cent across the board general increase each of the following dates:
Sept. 1, 2012
March 1, 2013
Sept. 1, 2013
March 1, 2014
As with the PEA agreement, the union and university have recently ratified the agreement.4. CUPE local 4163 (Component 3)
CUPE 4163 is known as the University of Victoria's Educational Employees' Union. The local is made up of three "components", each with separate collective agreement language. Component 3 includes the university's continuing instructors, sessional instructors (aka "sessional lecturers") and music performance instructors.
We previously reached a two-year agreement with this local under the 2010 mandate. That agreement expired on May 31, 2012 and the parties agreed to commence negotiations under the 2012 “cooperative gains” mandate on November 2, 2012. Further bargaining dates are booked through November and into December.5. Faculty Association
The Framework Agreement (2008) and the Salary and Benefits Settlement (2010) both expired on June 30, 2012 without new agreements being reached. With the assistance of mediator Colin Taylor, the University of Victoria and the UVic Faculty Association have been working towards reaching mutually acceptable language in the Framework Agreement and establishing the terms of a new salary and benefits settlement for faculty and librarians. The parties are now awaiting further instructions from Mr. Taylor.
Please continue to monitor the individual employee group tabs of the bargaining information website for current updates on the status of collective bargaining for specific groups.
Associate Vice President, Faculty Relations and Academic Administration
Associate Vice President, Human Resources
Bulletin #5- August 17, 2012
Job action information website launched
This update is further to the July 20 Bargaining Bulletin where I reported that, further to CUPE locals 951 and 917 serving the university with strike notice, the university and the unions have been engaged in a process under the supervision of the Labour Relations Board to designate “essential services.” This process is expected to conclude the week of August 20. Given the signals CUPE is providing about the likelihood of job action, the university has created a job action information website to ensure that our students, visitors and the campus community have access to current information about the impact of job action on classes, services and important public events involving the university.
Effective Friday August 17, 2012 this new website will be available at http://www.uvic.ca/info/jobaction.
While it continues to be the university’s desire to reach a negotiated settlement with our unions at the earliest possible opportunity, in the event of a strike or job action, it is the university’s intention to take every reasonable measure to remain open for our students. While certain student services may be reduced or temporarily suspended in the event of a strike, we will endeavour to maintain instruction in on-campus and online courses, as well as in off-campus practicum courses, field studies, service learning and/or co-op placements, to provide access to core library services and information systems, and to oversee scheduled exams.
Again, if job action commences, please regularly monitor the job action information website for the most up-to-date information and instructions about the impact of job action on classes, services and important public events involving the university.
University administrators with any questions about this bulletin should feel free to contact their Human Resources Consultant.
Bulletin #4- July 20, 2012
Strike notice and essential services update
This update is further to the June 25 Bargaining Bulletin where I reported that CUPE locals 951 and 917 served the university with strike notice. Since that time, the university and the unions have been engaged in a process under the supervision of the Labour Relations Board to designate “essential services”. The law requires employers and unions to maintain certain essential services when unions take job action in a labour dispute.
Designation of essential services involves identifying the facilities and levels of service needed to prevent immediate and serious danger to the public. When the Labour Relations Board (LRB) designates a service as essential, the employer is required to provide that service, and the union is required to allow its members to perform the service in the event of a strike or other job action.
The essential services designation process first involves local discussions between the university and its unions, and then if necessary, the assistance of the LRB to mediate or adjudicate essential services and staffing levels. Friday July 20 was the last scheduled day for mediation. While some progress has been made at both the local negotiation and mediation stages, a small number of issues are scheduled to be adjudicated by the Labour Relations Board on August 21, 22 and 24 (if necessary).
Once essential services are formally designated by the Labour Relations Board, the unions may initiate job action any time following the provision of an additional 48 hours’ notice.
Next steps and the impact on campus operations
It’s important to note that serving strike notice does not mean a strike is inevitable at UVic. It is a relatively common tactic in negotiations and a legal requirement if a union wants to reserve the right to use some form of job action in a dispute, whether a full strike or other types of withdrawal of service such as rotating strikes, work-to-rule campaigns or overtime bans.
It continues to be the university’s desire to reach a negotiated settlement at the earliest possible opportunity. We remain hopeful that this can be achieved without a major disruption.
As the situation is dynamic, however, we will keep our community updated of any developments, the university’s plans, and any anticipated impact on services and programs. University units will be provided with advice and assistance in planning for and dealing with possible job action and supplied with information that can be shared with faculty, librarians, students and staff.
University administrators with any questions about this bulletin should feel free to contact their Human Resources Consultant.
Associate Vice President
University of Victoria
PO Box 1700 STN CSC Victoria, BC V8W 2Y2
phone: (250) 721-8031
fax: (250) 721-8094
All bulletins are archived on the Bargaining bulletins page.