The working conditions of CUPE 2278 members are regulated through a Collective Agreement, negotiated between the Union and the Universities’ Adminstration and Human Resources. The collective agreement regulates the working conditions of employees and the duties of the employer. These conditions include wages, job security, and benefits of members such as sick leave and access to various hardship funds.

CUPE 2278 uses collective bargaining as a method to negotiate a labour contract for members with UBC.  Without our collective agreement, gained through collective bargaining, each employee would have to negotiate an individual contract with UBC; by bargaining together, we gain more influence over our wages, hours, and various aspects of working conditions.

A collective agreement is a fixed-term agreement, and we begin negotiations for a new collective agreement shortly before the previous one expires.  At UBC, we ratified our current collective agreement in spring of 2020. UNBC bargained in September of 2019 for a contract covering 2019-2022.

What is in the current collective agreement?

Our collective agreements, along with a two-page summary for each agreement (the Quick Guide) can be found here.

At UNBC, we were able to achieve several important accomplishments in our first collective agreement, including:

Wage increases, up 2% from last year and with an additional 2% raise each year of the collective agreement

Increased vacation pay from 4% to 6% per payment

Separation of student and employee status

Protections from harassment, discrimination, academic retaliation, and whistleblowing

Grievance procedures for instances of unfair treatment, work conditions, or violations of Grad TA rights

No more unpaid work

8-hour workday (within the hours of 7:45am to 10:00pm)


How can I find out more about bargaining?

When the next round of bargaining occurs, we will share information about the process through this website, social media, department representatives, our mailing list,  office hours, and  membership meetings.  We will aim to post all information as soon as we can following each meeting with the employer or as related events unfold.

Members with questions or concerns about bargaining are welcome to discuss specifics with us in person through office hours announced on social media, or by appointment with the Union President or Contract Committee Chair. Due to the amount of time our contract committee invests in bargaining, we will likely not be answering complex questions and concerns via email or social media, so please come visit us if you would like to know more about how negotiations are going.

What happens if negotiations break down?  Do we go on strike?

As workers who are also students, it is not our goal to disrupt other students’ education, and we view job action (up to and including strikes) as a last resort, to be carried out only when negotiations and mediation with UBC have failed for an extended period of time.  In the 2010-2012 round of bargaining, we went through approximately two years of bargaining and mediation before beginning job action.

Job action will only be carried out following a vote by union members.  If we are unable to reach an agreement with the employer, we will hold meetings with the union membership in order to inform everyone of the state of negotiations before asking you to make any decisions regarding job action.