Faculty Strike Updates

November 18, 2019

The Employer’s bargaining team is currently waiting to hear from the FA bargaining team on an updated proposal. At this point, the FA continues to withhold teaching services; as such, no classes will run on Tuesday Nov. 19, 2019. 

November 17, 2019

The bargaining teams continued to have conversations all last week and into the weekend. However, as no agreement has been reached, classes remain cancelled on Monday. Please visit our labour relations website often for updates and further information: https://www.unbc.ca/labour-relations.

November 15, 2019

The Employer and FA bargaining teams returned to the bargaining table on Tuesday.

This week, the FA provided three very different proposals. The first two proposals from the FA team, were creative and interesting in concept. Unfortunately, following a more detailed costing it was clear that the proposals exceeded the provincial bargaining mandate.

On Wednesday morning, the FA tabled a third proposal that fell within mandate. Despite falling within mandate, the Employer’s understanding has always been that a competitive salary structure is a fundamental principle; more detailed analysis indicated this could not be achieved within the FA team’s proposal. Consequently, the FA team indicated they wanted to abandon that principle.

Wednesday evening, the Employer tabled a proposal that we believe aligned with the principle of a competitive salary structure, reached 100% of the new salary target the FA proposed earlier that day and still fell within mandate. 

Thursday morning, the FA team responded with a counter-offer and a revised salary target. The Employer then spent the remainder of the day costing various iterations.

This week’s work resulted in the Employer tabling a proposal this morning, which is a sincere effort to maximize compensation increases for all faculty including SLIs and Librarians, within a competitive compensation structure. It is vital that we recruit and retain outstanding faculty, and ensure we turn our attention to addressing the opportunities and challenges that lie ahead for UNBC.

November 14, 2019

The bargaining teams for the University and the Faculty continue to meet today.

As of 4 pm, we have not had any indication from the Faculty Association that picketing will cease, and so classes are cancelled for tomorrow (Friday, November 15, 2019).

We are attempting to respond to enquiries and concerns as promptly as possible, but would recommend checking the following link regularly for updated Frequently Asked Questions and Answers: https://www.unbc.ca/labour-relations/faculty-strike-qa.

The following “Frequently Asked Question” has been added to the website today:

Once an Agreement is reached, how much notice will students be given before classes resume?

Once an Agreement has been reached the University will move quickly to support the resumption of all regular scheduled classes and activities.

The amount of notice that will be provided to students prior to the resumption of classes will depend on a number of factors: The day of the week and the time of day that an Agreement is concluded, and; any safety concerns with a resumption of a full level of activity (example: snow removal or lab equipment checks).  Our goal is to get students back into classes as soon as possible, however it is expected that at a minimum, in the very best-case scenario, eight hours of lead time minimum would be needed, and that twenty-four hours is much more likely in most scenarios.

Please continue to monitor your email, or check here for updates: https://www.unbc.ca/labour-relations/faculty-strike-updates

November 13, 2019

Both parties are engaged in talks at the bargaining table today; however, a deal has not yet been reached. Therefore, classes at UNBC remain cancelled for Thursday, November 14, 2019.

For any updates, please continue to monitor your email, or check here: https://www.unbc.ca/labour-relations.

November 12, 2019

While both parties are back at the bargaining table today, the UNBC Faculty Association has not yet provided any indication that picket lines will be removed. Therefore, classes at UNBC are cancelled for Wednesday, November 13, 2019.

Should this change, we will notify you as soon as possible, and post updates here: https://www.unbc.ca/labour-relations.

Please check this website regularly for updates.

November 8, 2019

Due to ongoing strike action by the UNBC Faculty Association, classes at UNBC remain cancelled for Tuesday, November 12, 2019.

Should this change over the weekend, we will notify you by email as soon as possible, and post updates here: https://www.unbc.ca/labour-relations.

Please check this website regularly for updates.

November 8, 2019

Current Offer Highlights

Introduction

We understand that not everyone may be aware of what was on the table when the FA left talks on Thursday morning. The following provides a detailed summary of the Employer’s proposals at the end of the last bargaining session.

The Employer’s bargaining priorities

  • Reach a modernized negotiated collective agreement that addresses a broad range of topics, shared interests and, where possible, the mutual interests of the parties.
  • Improve the compensation structure for faculty.
  • Make progress towards adjusting individual salaries as appropriate to fit the structure.

Employer Offer Highlights

  • Compensation
    • Creates a new compensation model for faculty, built upon principles and competitive benchmark salaries established jointly by the Employer and FA.
    • Closes the salary gap between our Tenured and Tenure-track faculty and the competitive benchmark salaries at our comparator universities by approximately 90% in just one round of bargaining.
      • Average salary increase of 15% over three years for Tenured and Tenure-track Faculty.
      • Annual Career Development Increment increased from $1,111 to $2,700
  • Recruit and retain outstanding teaching faculty.
    • A new continuing career track for teaching-focused members (a new designation - Senior Instructors), reducing the need for repeating term appointments.
    • A new Senior Lab Instructor Rank IV, creating additional career-growth opportunities for senior lab instructors.

The Employer’s compensation proposal

  • Funding beyond the provincial mandate of 2% per year for three years can only be introduced by negotiating savings in the collective agreement.
  • The Employer costed and proposed approximately $1 million in savings in the collective agreement to further improve the compensation offer.
  • With the proposed negotiated savings, Tenured and tenure-track Faculty Members could see an average compensation increase of approximately 15% over three years.
    • Increases could be as much as 28% for a full professor, 22% for an associate professor, and 18% for an assistant professor.
  • Senior lab instructors, librarians and part-time instructors will see increases of 6% on average, again in line with the provincial mandate.
  • Increases vary depending on the individual rank and number of years in rank.
Salary Comparison - July 1, 2019 vs. July 1, 2022


Download high-resolution image

Closing the compensation gap

  • The compensation gap is a result of a flawed structure that was created over many agreements; it is extraordinarily challenging to close in one round of bargaining.
  • The Faculty Association and Employer Compensation Working Group recommended to the bargaining teams that a new compensation structure anchor the top of the full professor salary scale with the 50th percentile of our benchmark universities. The working group recommendation is posted on the labour relations section of the UNBC website.
  • The Employer’s offer makes considerable progress, closing the salary gap between our Tenured and Tenure-track faculty and the competitive benchmark salaries at our comparator universities by approximately 90%.
    • Salary adjustments will vary across the bargaining unit.
    • This concept changes the structure; early-career faculty members’ long-term earning potential is vastly improved.
    • Larger salary corrections are necessary for Tenured and Tenure-track faculty members.
Current and proposed salaries compared to salaries at Comparator Universities


Download high-resolution image

Salary Examples

Examples shown below are for illustrative purposes and derived from the Employer’s Nov. 4 proposals.

Increases are shown over three years. Current salaries are shown as at July 1, 2019.

Full professors Number of years in rank Current salary Employer’s offer - % increase Total salary and increase Year 1 $ increase Year 2 $ increase Year 3 $ increase
Professor A 10 $121,458 28% $155,790 (34,332) $10,176 $16,445 $7,711
Professor B 6 $116,153 25% $145,465 (29,312) $8,688 $14,041 $6,584
Professor C 11 $122,772 27% $155,904 (33,132) $9,820 $15,870 $7,441
Professor D 4 $124,797 13% $141,280 (16,483) $4,886 $7,895 $3,702
Professor E 18 $136,358 15% $157,079 (20,721) $6,142 $9,925 $4,654
Professor F 26 $165,553 0% $165,553 *above $164,441 merit ceiling cap $0 $0 $0
Associate professors Number of years in rank Current salary Employer’s offer - % increase Total salary and increase Year 1 $ increase Year 2 $ increase Year 3 $ increase
Associate Professor A 6 $104,197 15% $119,767 (15,570) $4,615 $7,458 $3,497
Associate Professor B 11 $105,665 21% $127,293 (21,628) $6,411 $10,360 $4,858
Associate Professor C 6 $98,113 22% $119,240 (21,127) $6,262 $10,120 $4,745
Associate Professor D 12 $126,223 2% $129,071 (2,848) $844 $1,364 $640
Associate Professor E 5 $138,592 0% $138,592 *above $129,341 ceiling cap $0 $0 $0
Assistant Professors Number of years in rank Current salary Employer’s offer - % increase Total salary and increase Year 1 $ increase Year 2 $ increase Year 3 $ increase
Assistant Professor A 5 $81,159 18% $95,576 (14,417) $4,273 $6,906 $3,238
Assistant Professor B 2 $77,839 13% $87,889 (10,050) $2,979 $4,814 $2,257
Assistant Professor C 3 $82,346 10% $90,746 (8,400) $2,490 $4,023 $1,887
Assistant Professor D 3 $85,305 7% $91,002 (5,697) $1,688 $2,729 $1,279
Assistant Professor E 3 $136,882 0% $136,882 *above $105,041 ceiling cap $0 $0 $0
Senior Lab Instructors Current salary Employer’s offer - % increase Total salary and increase Year 1 $ increase Year 2 $ increase Year 3 $ increase
Level 1 $67,747 5% $70,860 (3,113) $361 $1,362 $1,389
Level 2 $80,777 9% $87,727 (6,950) $1,501 $2,686 $2,763
Level 2 $78,886 6% $83,714 (4,827) $1,577 $1,609 $1,641
Level 3 $76,674 9% $83,725 (7,051) $1,533 $2,720 $2,798
Level 3 $89,158 6% $94,615 (5,457) $1,783 $1,819 $1,855
Librarians Current salary Employer’s offer - % increase Total salary and increase Year 1 $ increase Year 2 $ increase Year 3 $ increase
Level 1 $68,005 10% $74,525 (6,520) $1,360 $2,543 $2,617
Level 2 $72,292 9% $79,075 (6,783) $1,446 $2,631 $2,706
Level 3 $84,897 9% $92,451 (7,555) $1,698 $2,888 $2,969
Level 4 $104,062 8% $112,789 (8,727) $2,081 $3,279 $3,367

How Collective Bargaining works in the Public Sector in B.C.

The government and provincial public sector employers spend about $30.4 billion on compensation which is equivalent to more than half of the Province's budget. Government manages these costs by setting the fiscal parameters for negotiations through a mandate. 

In this round of bargaining, the Sustainable Services Negotiating Mandate defines what employers are able to negotiate, as well as what government will ultimately transfer to the University to pay the equivalent of the 2% increase each year in faculty salaries.

The Mandate also includes funding for a Service Improvement Allocation, which can be targeted to service delivery improvements and support the achievement of employer service improvement priorities. These funds are fully allocated in the Employer’s offer, and are contingent on making progress on the employer’s priorities. Any additional cost increases must be funded by changes to the collective agreement.

Clarifying the role of the PSEC Secretariat

Public sector bargaining has been conducted under the Public Sector Employers’ Council model since 1994. Government, via the PSEC Secretariat, sets a bargaining mandate for the public sector, which all public sector employers are statutorily bound to observe. UNBC, like other employers who meet the definition of the Public Sector Employers Act, must have its bargaining plans approved by the Minister responsible for the Act before substantive negotiations with the union can begin. In addition, the PSEC Secretariat must review and approve all language and costing prior to being tabled.

Conclusion

The Employer’s efforts during this round of bargaining demonstrate a clear and undeniable commitment to UNBC’s faculty. It has proposed a compensation structure that not only recognizes the efforts and dedication of our current, long-serving faculty members, but also provides improved career progression for early-career faculty members.