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UNBC outlines offer tabled with faculty association last week

UNBC Faculty Association members are expected to be back on the picket lines Tuesday morning. The members went on strike Thursday morning.

Following a bargaining session Thursday, UNBC has released detailed information about the proposal tabled by the university:

The Employer’s bargaining priorities

  • Reach a modernized negotiated collective agreement that addresses a broad range of topics, shared interests and, where possible, the mutual interests of the parties.
  • Improve the compensation structure for faculty.
  • Make progress towards adjusting individual salaries as appropriate to fit the structure.

Employer Offer Highlights

  • Compensation
    • Creates a new compensation model for faculty, built upon principles and competitive benchmark salaries established jointly by the Employer and FA.
    • Closes the salary gap between our Tenured and Tenure-track faculty and the competitive benchmark salaries at our comparator universities by approximately 90% in just one round of bargaining.
      • Average salary increase of 15% over three years for Tenured and Tenure-track Faculty.
      • Annual Career Development Increment increased from $1,111 to $2,700
  • Recruit and retain outstanding teaching faculty.
    • A new continuing career track for teaching-focused members (a new designation – Senior Instructors), reducing the need for repeating term appointments.
    • A new Senior Lab Instructor Rank IV, creating additional career-growth opportunities for senior lab instructors.

The Employer’s compensation proposal

  • Funding beyond the provincial mandate of 2% per year for three years can only be introduced by negotiating savings in the collective agreement.
  • The Employer costed and proposed approximately $1 million in savings in the collective agreement to further improve the compensation offer.
  • With the proposed negotiated savings, Tenured and tenure-track Faculty Members could see an average compensation increase of approximately 15% over three years.
    • Increases could be as much as 28% for a full professor, 22% for an associate professor, and 18% for an assistant professor.
  • Senior lab instructors, librarians and part-time instructors will see increases of 6% on average, again in line with the provincial mandate.
  • Increases vary depending on the individual rank and number of years in rank.
Salary Comparison – July 1, 2019 vs. July 1, 2022


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Closing the compensation gap

  • The compensation gap is a result of a flawed structure that was created over many agreements; it is extraordinarily challenging to close in one round of bargaining.
  • The Faculty Association and Employer Compensation Working Group recommended to the bargaining teams that a new compensation structure anchor the top of the full professor salary scale with the 50th percentile of our benchmark universities. The working group recommendation is posted on the labour relations section of the UNBC website.
  • The Employer’s offer makes considerable progress, closing the salary gap between our Tenured and Tenure-track faculty and the competitive benchmark salaries at our comparator universities by approximately 90%.
    • Salary adjustments will vary across the bargaining unit.
    • This concept changes the structure; early-career faculty members’ long-term earning potential is vastly improved.
    • Larger salary corrections are necessary for Tenured and Tenure-track faculty members.
Current and proposed salaries compared to salaries at Comparator Universities


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Salary Examples

Examples shown below are for illustrative purposes and derived from the Employer’s Nov. 4 proposals.

Increases are shown over three years. Current salaries are shown as at July 1, 2019.

Full professors Number of years in rank Current salary Employer’s offer – % increase Total salary and increase Year 1 $ increase Year 2 $ increase Year 3 $ increase
Professor A 10 $121,458 28% $155,790 (34,332) $10,176 $16,445 $7,711
Professor B 6 $116,153 25% $145,465 (29,312) $8,688 $14,041 $6,584
Professor C 11 $122,772 27% $155,904 (33,132) $9,820 $15,870 $7,441
Professor D 4 $124,797 13% $141,280 (16,483) $4,886 $7,895 $3,702
Professor E 18 $136,358 15% $157,079 (20,721) $6,142 $9,925 $4,654
Professor F 26 $165,553 0% $165,553 *above $164,441 merit ceiling cap $0 $0 $0
Associate professors Number of years in rank Current salary Employer’s offer – % increase Total salary and increase Year 1 $ increase Year 2 $ increase Year 3 $ increase
Associate Professor A 6 $104,197 15% $119,767 (15,570) $4,615 $7,458 $3,497
Associate Professor B 11 $105,665 21% $127,293 (21,628) $6,411 $10,360 $4,858
Associate Professor C 6 $98,113 22% $119,240 (21,127) $6,262 $10,120 $4,745
Associate Professor D 12 $126,223 2% $129,071 (2,848) $844 $1,364 $640
Associate Professor E 5 $138,592 0% $138,592 *above $129,341 ceiling cap $0 $0 $0
Assistant Professors Number of years in rank Current salary Employer’s offer – % increase Total salary and increase Year 1 $ increase Year 2 $ increase Year 3 $ increase
Assistant Professor A 5 $81,159 18% $95,576 (14,417) $4,273 $6,906 $3,238
Assistant Professor B 2 $77,839 13% $87,889 (10,050) $2,979 $4,814 $2,257
Assistant Professor C 3 $82,346 10% $90,746 (8,400) $2,490 $4,023 $1,887
Assistant Professor D 3 $85,305 7% $91,002 (5,697) $1,688 $2,729 $1,279
Assistant Professor E 3 $136,882 0% $136,882 *above $105,041 ceiling cap $0 $0 $0
Senior Lab Instructors Current salary Employer’s offer – % increase Total salary and increase Year 1 $ increase Year 2 $ increase Year 3 $ increase
Level 1 $67,747 5% $70,860 (3,113) $361 $1,362 $1,389
Level 2 $80,777 9% $87,727 (6,950) $1,501 $2,686 $2,763
Level 2 $78,886 6% $83,714 (4,827) $1,577 $1,609 $1,641
Level 3 $76,674 9% $83,725 (7,051) $1,533 $2,720 $2,798
Level 3 $89,158 6% $94,615 (5,457) $1,783 $1,819 $1,855
Librarians Current salary Employer’s offer – % increase Total salary and increase Year 1 $ increase Year 2 $ increase Year 3 $ increase
Level 1 $68,005 10% $74,525 (6,520) $1,360 $2,543 $2,617
Level 2 $72,292 9% $79,075 (6,783) $1,446 $2,631 $2,706
Level 3 $84,897 9% $92,451 (7,555) $1,698 $2,888 $2,969
Level 4 $104,062 8% $112,789 (8,727) $2,081 $3,279 $3,367

How Collective Bargaining works in the Public Sector in B.C.

The government and provincial public sector employers spend about $30.4 billion on compensation which is equivalent to more than half of the Province’s budget. Government manages these costs by setting the fiscal parameters for negotiations through a mandate.

In this round of bargaining, the Sustainable Services Negotiating Mandate defines what employers are able to negotiate, as well as what government will ultimately transfer to the University to pay the equivalent of the 2% increase each year in faculty salaries.

The Mandate also includes funding for a Service Improvement Allocation, which can be targeted to service delivery improvements and support the achievement of employer service improvement priorities. These funds are fully allocated in the Employer’s offer, and are contingent on making progress on the employer’s priorities. Any additional cost increases must be funded by changes to the collective agreement.

Clarifying the role of the PSEC Secretariat

Public sector bargaining has been conducted under the Public Sector Employers’ Council model since 1994. Government, via the PSEC Secretariat, sets a bargaining mandate for the public sector, which all public sector employers are statutorily bound to observe. UNBC, like other employers who meet the definition of the Public Sector Employers Act, must have its bargaining plans approved by the Minister responsible for the Act before substantive negotiations with the union can begin. In addition, the PSEC Secretariat must review and approve all language and costing prior to being tabled.

Conclusion

The Employer’s efforts during this round of bargaining demonstrate a clear and undeniable commitment to UNBC’s faculty. It has proposed a compensation structure that not only recognizes the efforts and dedication of our current, long-serving faculty members, but also provides improved career progression for early-career faculty members.

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