The Union bargained for three days last week (February 21-23, 2023).
We began by settling several more housekeeping issues. Then we went through each other’s proposals to indicate broadly our interest in finding middle ground. This helps all concerned decide where to focus their energies, but it does not mean that either side cannot push forward with a particular proposal. For instance, the employer has indicated that it has no interest in mandatory faculty participation in hiring and evaluation of administrators, and the Union has indicated that it has no interest in unlimited evaluation of faculty members; however, neither side has dropped their related proposals , or any significant proposal, at this point.
We are now at the stage of crafting and exchanging counter-proposals, and thus the pace has picked up, though low availability on the Admin side continues to be frustrating (we are booked for three days in April and three days in May). Subjects currently scheduled for further discussion are regularization, layoff, workload, scheduled development, right of first refusal for term work, co-op and internship supervision, dispute resolution, and the alternative transportation dividend program.
Common Agreement proposals have not been discussed. The Employer has indicated that it will table a proposal on the status of the Common Agreement for the CCFA, and we will respond when we see it. Money matters have not been discussed except obliquely (i.e. “this will cost money”), but we have requested information on both costs and savings related to proposals from both sides.
FYI, two FPSE locals have settled: College of the Rockies and Thompson Rivers University. We haven’t had time to analyze the resulting deals yet, but it does appear that the Employer intends that any improvements that cost money must be paid for with money already in the Collective Agreement or must fall within the parameters of the “Flexibility Accommodation Mandate.” This is a small ongoing fund calculated as a percentage of total compensation (salary plus benefits) of CCFA members. It’s less money than was available via the “Service Improvement Allocation Mandate” in the last round, but unlike that money, it is not tied to untenable concessions on the part of the Union.
We have been grateful to have CCFA members observe on all our bargaining days in February. The observers have found the sessions interesting and informative, but we also note that their presence sends a message to the Employer: there are eight people on the Union bargaining committee, but they represent over 500 members (about half the college!) who support the union in getting a decent deal.
Our next bargaining days are April 3, 4, and 5 (times and locations TBD). If you are interested in observing on any or all of those days, please contact Kelly Pitman at ac.nusomac@namtip. Please also contact Kelly if you have comments on or questions about this report.
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