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CAUT Bulletin Archives

September 2001

UPEI Joins Ranks of Unionized Faculty

The University of Prince Edward Island Faculty Association successfully concluded its unionization drive with the Aug. 2 certification order of the PEI Labour Relations Board. Whereas the faculty association had previously represented only full-time teachers, it will now bargain for all academic staff engaged in teaching in a university degree course and/or engaged in research and all librarians. The bargaining unit includes term, probationary and tenured faculty, and sessional lecturers. Clinical instructors in the school of nursing and faculty of the Atlantic Veterinary College are also included in the unit. UPEIFA past president Don Gillis, who filed the certification application in February, and president Richard Kurial led the faculty association's team in lengthy negotiations with the employer that resulted in agreement on the description of the bargaining unit as well as the appropriate list of employees in the unit at the time of filing of the application. The PEI Labour Relations Board determined the union had such majority support in the membership cards submitted that no representation vote was required. Under PEI law, the Labour Board has discretionary authority to order a vote."Our negotiations ended with a full and fair description of our unit," Gillis said. "Since we knew we had majority support in all groups, we were able to concentrate on setting the best possible foundation for bargaining." The association has served formal notice to bargain and has held preliminary meetings with the employer. "We are assembling a team of negotiators that reflects the fact that UPEIFA now represents all teachers, whether full-time or contract academic staff," Kurial said. Bargaining continues this fall as the association seeks its first collective agreement governed by PEI labour law.