The executive of CUPE 2278, representing UBC’s Teaching Assistants, Markers, Tutors and English Language Instructors, would like to express our solidarity with the Teaching Assistants union at Simon Fraser University (TSSU), who issued a 72-hour strike notice to their employer last night. We admire this difficult, yet brave step as they pursue a responsible contract commensurate with their training, work ethic and dedication to SFU’s students. Courage to TSSU as they fight to obtain a fair and equitable collective agreement for all its members.
TEACHING ASSISTANTS MEET TO DISCUSS MONETARY OFFER FROM UBC HUMAN RESOURCES
Fall General Membership Meeting of CUPE Local 2278 at UBC
In a general members meeting on Wednesday, UBC’s TA union CUPE 2278 met to discuss the current state of bargaining for the collective agreement that expired two years ago. The employer recently offered teaching assistants 1% wage increases in only the two final years of the contract, but agreed in principle to the union’s request to extend hiring preference to fifth-year doctoral students. All other monetary items forwarded by TAs were rejected.
During this meeting the executive of the local provided background information regarding their current round of bargaining to secure a new collective agreement with the University. They went on to explain their initial monetary proposals tabled for University Human Resources in 2010 including an increase of wages to equal the hourly wage of Teaching Assistants the University of Toronto, a Cost of Living Adjustment (COLA) Clause, Tuition Protection, Health Benefits, Childcare Benefits and an extension of hiring preference (a form of job security) for Doctoral and Master’s students.
UBC Human Resources’ most recent monetary offer to the union was then explained, the highlights of which include as yet un-finalized language on the issue of hiring preference for Doctoral students and the following wage increases: 0% for 2010/2011, 0% for 2011/2012, 1% for 2012/2013 and 1% for 2013/2014. The union remains in mediation for the time being.
The Bargaining Team is analyzing the Employer’s offer on preference to determine what has actually been crafted and presented to the Union. The Union hopes to meet with the Employer through the mediation process to clarify the Employer’s proposal.
The meeting closed with a motion to expand the union’s executive from 15 members plus the president to 21 members plus the president if deemed necessary by the executive, which was passed unanimously by those in attendance. CUPE 2278 will hold a meeting for executive nominations on October 10 at 5pm in the IK Barber Learning Centre Room 461 and if executive elections are required, they will occur on October 29, 2012.
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Be advised that on September 5th, 2012, the BCGEU, PEA and COPE 378, will be taking part in a one day action. Please be sure to respect any of their picket lines you should come across!! The three unions directly involved will be picketing the government across the province with an estimated 27,000 public employees out on strike at 1,785 government workplaces.
CUPE members working at universities (including our local and our friends at CUPE 116) will be active on Tuesday, Sept. 4 on campuses across the province – distributing support materials and talking to students and community members about the issues facing the members of unions in the Post Secondary Education sector as well as the effect large scale budget cuts will likely have on students in the coming months. Stayed tuned for actions throughout September focused on bargaining in the universities, colleges and community social services sectors as a huge portion of public sector employees are negotiating new Collective Agreements; many of whom have positive strike mandates in play just like we do.
The Steward is our monthly newsletter with updates on CUPE 2278 activities. See it here! steward Sept. 2012