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.