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CAUT Bulletin Archives

April 2000

UCCB Wins First Agreement

The picket lines came down on March 17 when the members of UCCB's faculty association voted 75% in favour of accepting a four-year agreement.

After almost four years of bargaining and a strike lasting five weeks, members of the Faculty Association of University Teachers (FAUT) finally have a first collective agreement.

The agreement, effective July 1, 1998, gives the members of the bargaining unit a one-time lump sum payment of $3,500 (less required deductions) and a 20 per cent salary increase over the life of the contract. The university has also agreed to reimburse the union for premium payments on benefits during the strike.

"We were able to win this struggle because of remarkable solidarity and determination of our members," said Micheal Manson, president of FAUT. "I cannot tell you the importance of the tremendous support from faculty associations across the country and CAUT. It was vital to our victory."

The association won new rights against layoffs and dismissals, and contract language that provides a full grievance and arbitration venue for denial of tenure and promotion. The right to due process was a key demand of the union during the labour dispute.

"There are some very good protections in the contract that we didn't have before," said Manson. "We have finally won job security and fairness in arbitration procedures that are standard at universities across the country."

Four weeks into the strike, conciliation talks failed when the UCCB administration broke off negotiations. In a final attempt at settlement, mediator Milton Venoit was appointed by the provincial government. Mediation began on March 14 and continued virtually around the clock until mid-day on March 17.

Manson credits the assistance of Venoit in bringing an end to the impasse. "It was a hard five weeks but we're delighted with the results."

Highlights of the contract include clauses on tuition fee benefits, faulty teaching workload, working conditions, and protection of intellectual property. The parties have agreed to establish a joint committee to develop recommendations on distance education and technologically mediated courses.