Once again, an independent arbitrator has conclusively rejected the UCP’s anti-worker agenda and awarded postsecondary workers with a pay increase.
Arbitrator David Tettensor, an independent expert who is well-respected in the field of labour relations, awarded AUPE members at seven postsecondary institutions a retroactive one per cent pay increase, covering the period from July 1, 2019 to June 30, 2020. The employers were attempting to impose a two per cent pay cut for the same period.
AUPE members at the Northern Alberta Institute of Technology, Norquest College, Athabasca University, University of Lethbridge, Lakeland College, Northern Lakes College, and Red Deer College can expect to see the pay increase.
Our union presented the arbitrator with deep research into why a pay increase would be positive not just for the affected workers, but for the economy as a whole. The employer presented ideological arguments in line with the UCP’s anti-worker agenda.
In the end, the arbitrator sided with us. Rather than having a two per cent pay cut, we’ll be receiving a one per cent pay raise.
In his decision, the arbitrator said that not only was it “fair and reasonable” to give us a pay raise, but that it was also “in the public interest.” This is what we’ve been saying for a long time—that our education institutions only work because we work. The better our working conditions are, the better the learning conditions for students.
We know that a one per cent pay raise is better than a cut, but it isn’t enough. Our last contract had started with two years of zeros, and then a final year with a one per cent increase. With the rising cost of living, that means that our wages are effectively going down.
That’s why we need to get organized. The only way that we will be able to win real gains at the bargaining table is by working together and fighting for it.
Get in touch with your local and get involved. You can find the contact information for your local by clicking here.
If this government had its way, our wages, benefits, and job security would be permanently slashed. The only thing standing in the way is us—and we have to be ready to fight.
Locals and chapters
NAIT: Local 38
Norquest College: Local 71, Chapter 10
Athabasca University: Local 69
University of Lethbridge: Local 53
Lakeland College: Local 71, Chapter 004
Northern Lakes College: Local 71, Chapter 009
Red Deer College: Local 71, Chapter 014