Your bargaining team has been continuing to work over the past several months. And while we have not provided a detailed update to you about our progress at the table since early Summer of last year, discussions continued to move forward. We have come close to finalizing some non-monetary items and are nearing completion on others, including a new article on non-discrimination, a new preamble to the Collective Agreement, new procedures for Emerita/Emeritus status, and numerous revisions and updates throughout the Collective Agreement.
We are also able to report that we have proceeded to include monetary items as part of the discussions, and we exchanged proposals with the Board of Governors at a meeting on March 3.
We put forward a number of proposals, including to improve parental leaves (and top-ups to sessional members) to better align the University of Calgary with peer U15 institutions. In addition, we propose improving benefit amounts and coverage, increasing pay in lieu of benefits for sessional members, improving sick time benefits, providing a merit increment following a promotion, increasing RSL amounts, among other requests.
Most significantly, we have proposed two key items regarding member salaries. First, we propose the Governors and the Association agree on an aspirational goal that over the long-term the salaries of academic staff at the University of Calgary should be at the median of the U15 or above. Currently, the average salary among University of Calgary academic staff ranks 12th among the U15, down from 7th a decade ago. We proposed salary increases to equal the rate of inflation each year and not less than 1%, 1%, 2.5%, 2.5% over a four period which would end June 30, 2024 (as the first two years are almost over).
The Board of Governors has also proposed a four-year agreement, with across-the-board salary increases of 0.5% effective April 1, 2023, and 1% effective December 1, 2023.
Both sides have outstanding non-monetary issues. We have raised items such as workload, a review of the market supplement process, definition of administrative honoraria and others. The BoG team has proposed some non-monetary items such as definitions of limited-term positions, and changes to the redundancy article. We would note they have indicated the changes they have brought forward are for clarification; we do not agree and will be moving forward cautiously.
We’d like to emphasize that this is only the beginning of our conversations on monetary matters and we remain encouraged that discussions have been positive. There have also been recent developments at negotiations for other post-secondary institutions, such as Mount Royal University and the University of Alberta, that may shape how our negotiations unfold. The settlement at Mount Royal University, for example, was for salary increases of 1.25% in April 2023 and 1.5% in December, with a potential additional 0.5% increase if provincial economic growth exceeds a certain level. We will keep you updated with any important developments along the way.
As always, we welcome your comments. You can send your comments to the Bargaining Team through the Faculty Association email (firstname.lastname@example.org) or you can share your views with your Department Representative.
From your Bargaining Team
Hamid Habibi (Principal Negotiator)
Trevor Tombe (Bargaining team member)
Sheila Miller (Bargaining team member)
Don Kozak (Resource person)