2012 Collective Bargaining and Roundtables Update

By Michael Conlon, Executive Director

As the recognized bargaining agent for management and professional staff at UBC, one of AAPS core lines of service is negotiation. The collective agreement is the binding framework that structures the working relationship between UBC and AAPS members. The collective agreement covers virtually every aspect of the working relationship from salary, sick, leave and holidays to promotion, termination and the grievance process.

The current collective agreement with the University expires June 30, 2012. Work is already well underway to prepare for the next round of bargaining. However, it is essential that we get member feedback as we develop proposals to present to the University. To that end we will be hosting a series of roundtables through the fall to facilitate an open and frank dialogue about priorities for management and professional employees at UBC.

Because we are the recognized bargaining agent for our members, negotiations with the University fall under the auspices of thePublic Sector Employers' Council (PSEC). PSEC is a government controlled body that sets the mandate for public sector bargaining in British Columbia. This structure is unique to British Columbia and provides a distinct advantage to employers in that the actual bargaining process is circumvented by the PSEC mandate. Public sector employers in British Columbia are essentially relieved of the vexing challenge of negotiating wages with unions and associations.

In the last round of bargaining PSEC set out a two year mandate of ‘net zero’ , meaning there could be no new compensation and any changes to the agreement had to be ‘zeroed out’ by changes elsewhere in the agreement. The two year net zero mandates was discouraging for those working in the public sector given that inflation during that same period was over 3%. Unfortunately, there is the possibility that the net zero mandate will be extended for another 2 years.

In the last round of bargaining the core issues addressed with the University involved issues of job security, professional development and benefits. In terms of job security, there was a lively discussion about Article 9 and whether the University was paying market value for the unparalleled flexibility they have in releasing employees. On the professional development side there was discussion about the administration of the plan as well as a small enhancement traded from a benefit for retiring members. Finally, on benefits there was a wide ranging discussion about the state of the benefits plan. While the discussion was productive and respectful, little progress was made in any of these core areas. Pending discussions with the general membership, it is quite likely that all three areas will be issues in the 2012 round of bargaining.

Upcoming Collective Bargaining Roundtables:

UBC Point Grey

  • November 15: 12-2pm, SUB Council Chambers
  • November 23: 12-2pm, SUB Council Chambers

Please note that lunch will be provided.
To register and to reserve a lunch, send an email to aaps@ubc.ca.

Dates for other locations will be confirmed shortly and communicated via email and on the AAPS website.