Early Retirement Offer

Updates

Weeks Review: Early Retirement Offer update

June 27, 2019

Good afternoon,

In March of this year, we developed an Early Retirement Offer (ERO) and Voluntary Exit Program (VEP) for faculty, so I thought I’d take this opportunity to share an update.  As a result of that initiative, we have 24 of our faculty colleagues planning their departures for this June, December and next June. By now you may have seen some individual announcements around those who are leaving us and even attended farewell events. As these continue, we’ll celebrate their significant contributions to UNBC, and I know you'll join me in thanking them and wishing them well.

Over the past few years, I have repeatedly committed to addressing the legitimate concerns about the growing gap between the salaries of our faculty and those of our comparator universities.  The ERO was developed outside the current 2019 collective agreement negotiations to facilitate progress towards the implementation of a new compensation framework and as a way to reinvest in our faculty complement.

It is premature, however, to determine the exact savings that will be generated by the ERO as there are three significant unknowns:

  • The salary of the faculty members retiring after July 1, 2019.
  • The timing of the tenure track replacements over the next three years.
  • The rank and salary of the replacements.

The final savings will vary because of the unknowns listed above. Through various calculations, we have arrived at a figure of $750,000 for budgeting purposes.

An unfortunate consequence is we will see long-serving, outstanding faculty members leave UNBC. That said, let’s make sure we use this opportunity to make strategic decisions around UNBC’s future and continue to invest in the people who remain with us to continue their outstanding work. It’s an exciting time for us, and I look forward to making continued progress.

Regards,

Professor Daniel Weeks
UNBC President and Vice-Chancellor


March 22, 2019

We have developed an Early Retirement Offer (ERO) for faculty. The purpose of this offer is outlined in the following message from the President that was delivered Friday, March 22 to all faculty.

Good afternoon,

Over the past few years, I have committed on multiple occasions to address the legitimate concerns about the growing gap between the salaries of our faculty and those of our comparator universities. The Compensation Working Group (the Faculty Association and the University) has made tremendous progress towards identifying a compensation framework with a new salary structure that could work for UNBC.

To facilitate continued progress towards that framework, the University and Faculty Association have agreed to implement a limited, voluntary Early Retirement Offer (ERO) for faculty members who meet a specific set of criteria.

Eligible faculty members will receive a lump-sum payment equivalent to one month’s pay for each year of service to a maximum of 18 months. It will provide faculty members who meet the criteria of being 55 or older with at least 15 years of service with the financial means to make a better transition into retirement.

The Faculty Association and University agree that this is as an opportunity for those who have made significant contributions to UNBC over their long, productive careers, while safeguarding those who plan to continue doing so in the future. Moreover, the ERO will provide budget savings to be used exclusively to help close the salary gap through the new compensation framework agreement between the Faculty Association and University. It is important to note that it is not my intention to use the ERO as a means to reduce UNBC’s overall faculty complement; if 20 faculty members choose to take advantage of the proposal, 20 new faculty will replace them over the next three years.

Following this announcement, you will, if eligible, receive more detailed information from Barb Daigle, Interim Vice-President Finance, People and Business Operations.

I am grateful that our trail-blazing faculty have helped create the incredible destination University we are today. From my perspective, it is important that we honour the achievements of those who came before us by continuing along our trajectory towards being the premier comprehensive research University in Canada. To that end, we must continue to engage in Academic Planning, and position UNBC for further growth and success.

Regards,

Professor Daniel Weeks
UNBC President and Vice-Chancellor

The following MOUs provide more detail: