At the moment we are gearing up for our 2019 negotiations. See below for updates from our 2015 negotiations, and be sure to check back for future updates!

Update June 2016

The (nearly) finalized CUPE 2278 Collective Agreement – 2014-2019  is now available. We are fixing up the index and table of contents and hope to have that finished soon. Meanwhile, work is ongoing to discuss job reclassifications for CUPE 2278 members in the hopes of addressing wage disparity between UTAs and GTAs, creating a lead TA position, and to discuss the Marker position. This meeting to discuss reclassification was negotiated in bargaining last summer. We hope to have this process completed in time for September hiring.

Update Dec 2015

Bargaining has been largely completed and the contract was ratified by the membership in the summer. We are still waiting for the finished document of the new Collective Agreement and will post it once it has been finalized.

How can I find out more about bargaining?

Please follow us on facebook, contact your department representative, or join our mailing list to stay informed.  These contact details can be found here.  We also host a general membership meeting each autumn, and host membership meetings and outreach events, where you are more than welcome to attend and ask questions.

Updates on bargaining for the 2015 negotiations will be posted here in the form of a Bargaining Bulletin released as soon as possible following each meeting with the employer or as related events unfold.

Members with questions or concerns about bargaining are welcome to attend our weekly office hour where bargaining specifics can be discussed in person. 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. (See the Events Calendar and Blog for the latest time, dates and location). Members may also arrange an appointment with the Union President or Contract Committee Chair to discuss bargaining if the office hour is inconvenient. (email

The most up to date information will always be posted as soon as we can at


What about our current collective agreement?

Our current collective agreement with UBC lasts from September 1, 2010 to August 31, 2014.  For information on this collective agreement, please refer to this page.

Negotiations for a new collective agreement will begin in the spring of 2015.  We are currently drafting proposals based on the results from a survey of union members conducted in 2014, and the terms and language of collective agreements recently signed by other unions in BC and Canada.

Bargaining can often take up a great deal of time, depending on many factors, including the political climate and even the state of negotiations with other unions at UBC and elsewhere.  Although the current (2010-2014) collective agreement has expired, members of CUPE 2278 will continue to work under this agreement until a new contract is negotiated.


What happened last time?

We were able to achieve several important improvements in the 2010-2014 collective agreement, and are working hard to ensure that we can continue to improve working conditions for our membership in the next collective agreement.  Some highlights of our current collective agreement include:

  • 2% wage increase from previous rates
  • Protection from academic harm (disruptions to your studies or career resulting from a workplace issue or discipline)
  • Annual extended health care rebate cheque, given to all members at the end of the spring term
  • Hiring preference
    • Once hired, Doctoral students are guaranteed five consecutive years of work (ten TAships)
    • Once hired, Master’s students are guaranteed two consecutive years (four TAships)
  • 8 hours paid vacation leave per term (prorated for partial TAships)
  • 12 hours paid sick leave per term (prorated for partial TAships)
  • Leave for academic purposes (conferences, comprehensive exams, dissertations, and/or thesis defenses)

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.