Collective Bargaining Update – November 2012

Dear Members,

We have been bargaining on your behalf with UBC since June 2012. AAPS is the largest bargaining unit on campus, representing approximately 3500 Management & Professional (M&P) staff at the Vancouver and Okanagan campuses, including the teaching hospitals. AAPS is recognized by UBC as the exclusive bargaining agent for M&P staff.

While we have made some progress on non-monetary issues, the Bargaining Committee is frustrated that a monetary offer has yet to be tabled by UBC, and we are disappointed with the bargaining tactics being employed by UBC that have stalled negotiations. While negotiations on non-monetary issues were completed on November 2, 2012, UBC has now refused to present a monetary offer until a grievance on the market survey has been settled.

AAPS filed a grievance on the market survey on November 6, 2012, following a detailed review of the salary market offer presented by UBC to meet their commitment in our collective agreement. In the original Framework Agreement between AAPS and UBC in 1995, UBC commits to pay AAPS M&P staff at the 50th percentile of their job family, based on an external market survey of comparator organizations.  In a memo from Human Resources (Aug 2011), UBC advises that:

“We are embarking on a market review in order to evaluate the competitiveness of the University’s M&P compensation. It is important to the University to retain fair and competitive compensation for our M&P staff, and regular surveys are required by the agreement between the University and AAPS…. The last M&P Compensation Review was in 2008, with implementation in 2009."

Our review of the market survey findings shows that the proposal UBC has made on the 2011 market survey will only serve to ensure that AAPS members’ salaries fall farther and farther behind. AAPS filed a grievance on behalf of AAPS members to ensure that UBC’s commitment to compensate AAPS staff at the 50th percentile of the market is honoured. This is not the first time that AAPS has had to file a grievance on this issue. In 2006, we filed a grievance and after a protracted mediation, we settled for a substantially increased offer, based on the 2004 market survey.

It is important to emphasize that the right to enforce a collective agreement provision through a grievance and the collective bargaining process itself are two separate entities. UBC has a legal, contractual commitment based on the collective agreement currently in effect to compensate AAPS staff at the 50th percentile of market; this commitment is independent of the current general wage increase negotiations. UBC’s bargaining tactic to refuse to table a monetary proposal unless AAPS withdraws their grievance is unprecedented and unproductive. 

In order to move the process forward both parties have agreed to enter a preliminary round of non-binding mediation with Mediator Mark Brown, December 5-7, 2012. Once the mediation is complete we will advise you of the outcome and next steps. We appreciate your patience as the process unfolds and please be assured that the pace of negotiations is a product of the bargaining team’s commitment to secure a fair deal for AAPS’ members and that UBC respects the terms and conditions of existing commitments in our collective agreement.

 

Michael Conlon, Chief Negotiator