UVic labour peace a work in progress

The University of Victoria has reached a tentative agreement on a contract with the Professional Employees Association last week

One down, four more to go.

The University of Victoria has reached a tentative agreement on a contract with the Professional Employees Association last week, a union which represents counsellors, instructors, system analysts, fundraisers, scientific technicians and engineers.

The contract includes a two per cent wage hike retroactive to July and another two per cent hike next July.

UVic and the PEA negotiated the contract last spring and this fall, over a relatively short time frame. The agreement is subject to ratification by both parties over the coming weeks.

“The fact an agreement was reached without job action within that short time is a really good sign of how well things went at the table,” said Bruce Kilpatrick, the university’s director of communications.

Negotiations haven’t gone as well with two CUPE unions on campus.

Members from CUPE 917 and 951 – representing some 1,500 non-teaching jobs such as tradespeople, food service staff, childcare workers, and office and library staff – held rotating strikes over a few days in early September.

All sides were back at the bargaining table last week and talks will continue this week, including with CUPE 4163 components 1 and 2 (teaching assistants, lab assistants and French and English language instructors). CUPE 4163 component 3 (sessional instructors and music performance instructors) plans to schedule negotiating dates this week.

CUPE 917 and 951 aren’t picketing during talks and both sides have agreed not to comment on the status of negotiations – other than negotiations are happening and ongoing.

UVic is also negotiating with the Faculty Association, which isn’t a union, but represents faculty, senior instructors and librarians, about 900 employees.

Bargaining began in April, but both sides haven’t come to an agreement, so a process of mediation will begin Oct. 22, Kilpatrick said.

editor@saanichnews.com