2012 Bargaining Update

By Michael Conlon

The current collective agreement with the University expires on June 30 and preparations are well underway for the next round of bargaining. In addition to feedback from the bargaining roundtables, the AAPS bargaining committee will develop proposals based on key areas of our advocacy work. Job security and the implications of Article 9 will again be a key consideration in the development of this year’s proposals.

As previously outlined collective bargaining in British Columbia is circumscribed by the Public Sector Employers Council (PSEC). PSEC sets the mandate for bargaining in the province and employers are bound by the terms of PSEC’s mandate. In the previous round of bargaining PSEC set the mandate at “net zero” which meant that any wage hikes had to be paid for through offsets in existing collective agreements. Employers were expressly forbidden from paying for wage increases by looking for savings elsewhere in the organization. Both CUPE 116 and CUPE 2278 are in legal strike positions and are contemplating job action. A statement on the effect of job action on AAPS members can be found here: http://www.aaps.ubc.ca/member/news/strike-protocol-aaps-members

The new mandate for 2012 bargaining maintains a net zero position but critically allows employers to fund wage increases from savings found elsewhere. The actual mandate reads as follows:

“The key feature of the Cooperative Gains Mandate is that it provides public sector employers with the ability to negotiate modest wage increases made possible by productivity increases within existing budgets.”

The effect of this mandate is that each union and association is free to negotiate wage increases with their respective employers. Agreements covering the British Columbia Government Employees Union expired on March 31, 2012 and a first offer wage increase of 1.5% has been offered in those negotiations. The membership has been clear that after two years of zero and zero there should be a wage increase in the upcoming round of bargaining and we fully expect that to happen in our negotiations with UBC. Several UBC unions have not settled under the old net zero mandate from  2010 and appear close to strike action.

Further information about PSEC and the mandate can be found at: http://www.pssg.gov.bc.ca/psec/

We expect to begin bargaining with UBC in early June and will keep you apprised of developments as they unfold. The AAPS bargaining team for 2012 is:

  • Michael Conlon (Chief Negotiator)
  • Isabella Losinger (Past President)
  • Adam McCluskey (Board Member at Large)
  • Jacqueline Smit (President)
  • Robert Tudhope (Second Vice President)