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CAUT Bulletin Archives

October 2001

New Collective Agreement at UBC

A new three-year collective agreement between the University of British Columbia and its faculty members was ratified over the summer.

UBC faculty association president Norma Wieland hailed the new contract as an important one for members. "We are very pleased with the new agreement," she said. "The compensation package provides members with predictability and stability for the next three years. The improvements to benefits and the moneys to address salary inequities will be important in this time of increasing national and international competition."

The new package pours millions of dollars into faculty salaries. Highlights include an overall wage increase of two per cent per year for each year of the contract. As well, 2.5 per cent per year has been allocated to the career advancement plan to ensure better remuneration for career progress increments, merit and performance salary adjustments, $1 million has been committed to address salary inequities, $500,000 has been set aside to improve the sessional instructor minimum salary scale and a $2.5 million retention fund has been created to help keep faculty at UBC. An additional $1 million has been earmarked to improve the base salaries of faculty in the computer science and electrical and computer engineering departments.

Other changes in the agreement incorporate improved parental leave provisions for biological fathers, an increase in the professional development fund and a series of amendments to the Framework Agreement to more closely align it with BC labour code.

Although Wieland says there is much to be proud of, she concedes the new contract does not address low starting salaries for librarians. New librarians at UBC are among the lowest paid in North America. During the course of negotiations the administration maintained that salaries were not impeding the university's ability to hire for new positions or even to retain current librarians. As a result, Wieland says "the faculty association was unable to bargain any increase in starting salaries for librarians in this round of bargaining."

The new agreement was ratified by faculty members on June 22 by a 90 per cent vote. The contract came into effect July 1, 2001 and will run until June 30, 2004.