After almost a full year of delays caused by COVID-19, your negotiating committee met with the employer, the University of Calgary, on Feb. 9 and 10 to begin talks for a new collective agreement.
From the interaction with members, consultation with Membership Services Officers (MSOs) and a survey of the full membership, we were able to determine the things you say are critical to this round of bargaining.
Our ingoing proposals took a focused approach and reflected the needs you had identified.
The three priorities were:
- Establishing greater employment security;
- Maintaining workplace standards (given the attack by the UCP government on legislative obligations including Workers’ Compensation and Occupational Health and Safety); and
- Negotiating a modest salary increase to allow members to maintain their standard of living.
On Feb. 9, the union provided the university with a full package of items, which included everything we need to discuss and improve in this round of bargaining.
Unfortunately, the employer was unable to do the same. Even though negotiations were delayed by almost a year, the university could not provide its monetary package and deferred doing so until later in the negotiations process.
This was very frustrating for your committee.
The employer focused its proposals on non-monetary items, with many simply removing benefits that were achieved in the last round of bargaining in return for members accepting 0% salary increases.
The university proposed:
- Deletion of prescriptive language in Article 6 Respectful Workplace and Article 37 Workers’ Compensation Supplement;
- Removal of Letters of Understanding (LOUs) on Contracted Services and Workload;
- Changes to Article OP 39 Layoff and Recall to allow the employer greater flexibility in laying off workers;
- Elimination of the right to grieve regarding compensation when the employer creates new positions; and
- Other changes with direct monetary impact in Article 43 promotions, where they are looking to delete Clause 43.01 (a salary increment) and Article 14 Grievance Procedure, where they have changed the cost-share arrangement for arbitration to a loser-pay approach.
We were able to reach agreement on some minor housekeeping changes in the following;
- Article 11 Union Notices;
- Article 24 Shift Differential;
- Article 25 Weekend Premiums;
- LOU #OP8 Standardized Patients;
- OP 18 Hour of Work; and
- FXT 18 Hours of Work.
We are also awaiting a response to sign off many other item not opened by the parties.
We are scheduled to return to the bargaining table on March 31 and April 1 and will continue to work toward a fair collective agreement that meets the needs of the membership.
We thank you for your patience and continued support.
If you have any questions, please contact one of the members of the bargaining team and we will be happy to respond.
Your negotiating committee:
Justin Huseby - email@example.com
Marla Halsted - firstname.lastname@example.org
Renata Gordon - email@example.com
Barb McCutcheon - firstname.lastname@example.org
Frank Snow - email@example.com
Dale Perry, AUPE Staff Negotiator - firstname.lastname@example.org