Ratification Vote

The ratification vote will be conducted Thursday by secret ballot at the ratification meeting in Woodwards 2 beginning at 4:00pm. We will start with a presentation by the exec on the deal, followed by an extended Q&A session. Voting will take place no later than 6:30pm.

Summary of Tentative Agreement

First of all, thank you for your patience in waiting for the details of our new tentative agreement. As you can see, it is not the deal we wanted – there is no cost-of-living adjustment, no child care fund and no extended preference for Masters students. However, we strongly believe that it is the very best deal we could secure given the current bargaining climate in this province. We also don’t consider this contract an end point – for your CUPE 2278 executive, this is the starting point for the new collective agreement we will negotiate in less than two years’ time.

The major aspects of the tentative agreement with the employer are as follows:

  • no wage increases in 2010-2011 or 2011-2012
  • a 2% wage increase in 2012-2013 (retroactive) and 2013-2014
  • fifth-year extended preference for PhD students with no qualifications
  • protection from academic harm in work-related incidents
  • a discretionary fund will be created for employees who experience financial hardship associated with costs related to employment status. This fund comes from delaying 1% of the initial 2012 raise to December 2012 (i.e. 1% raise in September 2012, 1% raise in December 2012, 2% raise in September 2013)

All these gains were hard fought through your bargaining team over more than two years’ of negotiations. UBC TAs are only the second local in Canada to secure fifth-year preference for Doctoral students. Given some more time, we believe we can convince UBC to offer extended hiring preference to undergraduate and Masters students as well. We are the first unit in North America, to our knowledge, to have protection from academic harm written in to our collective agreement. While we were unable to secure literal tuition protection language in our renewed agreement, we now have some small protection against costs related to employment status written into our contract.

This agreement, which your CUPE 2278 executive will recommend for ratification, is in line or slightly better than every single comparable local bargaining in British Columbia in 2012.

We know that you have a lot of questions and we want to ensure that all of them are answered to the best of our ability. We have uploaded an FAQ to the website which should help address some of your concerns. All other questions will be addressed at our upcoming General Assembly.

Come to our General Assembly and Ratification Meeting at the P.A. Woodwards Lecture Hall 2 this Thursday, November 15 at 4pm. We will vote to ratify this agreement by show of hands after an extensive Q&A discussion. The vote will be final. Unfortunately, we cannot accept advance polling of any kind, nor will it be possible to vote by proxy.

Be sure to attend as we look to move forward as a local for the good of all TAs.

Ratification Meeting

CUPE 2278 will decide collectively whether or not to ratify this agreement at a General Assembly meeting, which will take place this Thursday, November 15 in the Woodwards 2 Lecture Hall, at 4pm. All CUPE 2278 members are requested to attend, since at the conclusion of the meeting, we will hold a ratification vote.

The meeting will include a short presentation from your union executive and the bargaining committee, followed by plenty of time for questions and comments from members. We will explain the entire context, results and implications of the tentative agreement in order to give our membership as clear an understanding as possible of the bargaining process.

This General Assembly is for members only and only members present at the meeting will be permitted to vote. The result of the ratification vote will be final, therefore it is extremely important that as many members as possible attend the meeting. We cannot conduct votes by proxy, email, fax or other forms of early voting.

The terms of the new contract are valid from September 1, 2010 to August 31, 2014. The Bargaining Committee believes this is the best deal members can secure given the current climate of the post-secondary education labour sector, and they have recommended it to the union for ratification. Final details of the agreement are still being ironed out, but CUPE 2278 is eager to release them as soon as possible.

This contract is a result of the hard work of the local’s Bargaining Team over a two year period. The executive would like to thank them for their tireless effort, as well as all of those picketers who volunteered their time on the front lines during our job action.

Tentative Agreement!

Last night, the Bargaining Committee of CUPE 2278 reached a tentative deal with the employer to renew our collective agreement. After more than two years of negotiations, two rounds of mediation and more than a week of job action, your Bargaining Committee believes it has made significant gains and secured several new items which give UBC TAs a stronger, fairer contract. Details of the tentative deal will be forthcoming as soon as they have been finalized by both negotiating parties. The new collective agreement, which is unanimously recommended by the Bargaining Committee, will be presented to the membership for ratification in the coming days. Furthermore, as a result of this deal, CUPE 2278 has agreed to suspend all job action, effective immediately. The Bargaining Team and your union executive would like to offer our sincerest and deepest thanks to its members for their time, energy and solidarity through a lengthy, arduous and at times difficult bargaining process. We couldn’t have done it without you!

Mediation dates with Vince Ready

We have confirmed mediation dates between the union and the employer with third party private mediator Vince Ready next Tuesday, November 6. Mr. Ready was able to broker a deal between CUPE 116 and the university and we are optimistic that we might be able to reach an agreement through this same avenue. In the mean time, job action on campus will continue.

Picket Location Nov. 1

We will be picketing MacMillan Hall (Faculty of Land and Food) from 1-3.

Picketing Do’s and Don’ts: Remember our final goal: getting a reasonable and fair collective agreement. These rules help us achieve that goal.

What to do when you get there:
1. Sign in with the Picket Captain at the organization table and note your time in.
2. Grab a sign and go to your assigned door.
3. Return to the table, check out, and give us your sign (and collect some swag!) when you leave.

-Be polite at all times.
-Keep moving. The reason we do this is to allow people to cross the picket line if they wish; we absolutely cannot prevent people from doing so.
-Politely tell passersby and people crossing the line that there is an ongoing strike action, and it shows support for the union to respect the line.
-If you try to prevent someone from crossing the picket, speak with them one-on-one.
-Discuss the issues with interested passersby. You may draw aside to chat one-on-one; no need to keep moving in that case.
-Refer journalists and media to your Picket Captain.
-Ask any Exec member and/or your Picket Captain about any questions you have – we are happy to get all our members up to speed.
-Indicate to your Picket Captain if you’d like to be more involved.

-Don’t debate or argue. This can escalate quickly and does not accomplish anything productive.
-Don’t jump into anyone’s way or in any way physically stop them from getting to the door. This is illegal.
-Don’t shout at picket crossers. The university has the ability to prevent the union from picketing if ANY incidences happen.
-Don’t allow more than one picketer to engage with picket crossers at any time. Having more than one person address them can feel aggressive.
-Don’t shout or make noise (e.g. loud instruments like drums) that could conceivably interrupt activity in another building. The reason this rule exists is because the noise we make is an extension of the picket line; to interrupt the work of a building we are not actively picketing is illegal, and the university could force us to stop all picketing as a result. The strike whistles we’ve handed out are okay for right now.
-Don’t get too emotionally engaged when people cross the picket or do not express support. It will happen, and there is no use worrying about it.
-Don’t consume any substances which impair your ability to carry out picket duties.
-Don’t display or wear your signs when away from the picket line. Again, that’s seen as an extension of the picket line and could get our activity shut down.