TRUFA Bargaining Update
The TRU / TRUFA Collective Agreement expires on March 31, 2019. For those who are new to TRU or those who may need a refresher about the process, here’s a brief guide.
While TRUFA, as the officially recognized bargaining agent for all TRU faculty, is responsible overall for negotiating a new Collective Agreement, the planning, implementation and eventual ratification are assigned to the following groups:
- The TRUFA Salary and Working Conditions Committee (SWCC) consisting of 13 members elected by Faculties/Schools and at the Annual General Meeting to represent constituent groups, Williams Lake, Research / Scholarship faculty and Contract faculty
- The TRUFA Executive consisting of the 22 faculty elected either by Faculties/Schools or by the membership at large at the AGM.
- The TRUFA membership as a whole, approximately 750 instructors, librarians, counsellors, coop/career coordinators, program coordinators, instructional designers and other faculty who teach and/or support students.
1. September to November 2018. Pre-Bargaining Consultation (TRUFA Salary and Working Conditions Committee—SWCC)
Beginning last spring, member of TRUFA’s SWCC began meeting with faculty in all TRU Faculties and Schools to listen to the needs of members, which could be brought forward as bargaining proposals. That process will continue for the next couple of months, so that all areas will have been given the chance to identify bargaining priorities.
SWCC will be sending out a bargaining survey to all TRU faculty later this Fall, and I would urge you to express your views so that TRUFA has a clear idea of what bargaining proposals are needed.
As part of the pre-bargaining consultation, TRUFA President, SWCC Chair and Co-VP Stewards plus one other SWCC member will attend a Federation of Post-Secondary Educators (FPSE) provincial bargaining conference at the end of September to look for ways that our local can coordinate with other FPSE faculty associations and the broader BC public sector union movement.
If you, as an individual faculty member, want to communicate your bargaining proposals directly, please contact SWCC chair, Lloyd Bennett (email@example.com), and copy me (firstname.lastname@example.org).
2. November to December 2018. Developing the Bargaining Package (SWCC)
Once the consultation process is complete and the surveys have been returned, SWCC will develop a bargaining package which is aimed to best reflect the needs of TRU faculty members. The package will include proposals that affect the majority of faculty, along with those that may meet the specific requirements of smaller groups on the campus. The package consists of Housekeeping items (minor changes to the Collective Agreement that either clarify existing practice or create better clarity and consistency in language) and Major Proposals, provisions that improve rights and/or benefits for faculty.
SWCC submits the bargaining package to the TRUFA Executive for discussion and eventual endorsement at meetings in early December. Also, the Executive finalizes the members of the bargaining team, made up of some faculty recommended by SWCC and others the Executive members feel should be included.
3. January to March 2019. Membership Approval and the Start of Negotiations.
Once the bargaining package has been endorsed by the TRUFA Executive, TRUFA and TRU administrators agree on a start date for negotiations. Normally, TRUFA schedules a special general meeting for all TRU faculty for the evening before negotiations are to begin and seeks approval from the membership of the bargaining package.
Negotiations are led on the TRUFA side by the SWCC chair and members of the bargaining team. TRU administration, I’m sure, is working on determining its bargaining team members, usually a combination of Human Resources personnel and academic administrators from the Provost’s office and from the Deans’ group.
4. March 2019. Conclusion of Bargaining and Ratification
Under ideal circumstances, the parties will be able to reach a tentative agreement before the expiry of the current Collective Agreement. When a tentative agreement is reached, the parties commit to recommending approval by their principals; in the case of TRU administration, the principals are the members of the TRU Board of Governors, and in the case of TRUFA, the principals are the general membership. In order for a new Collective Agreement to be finalized, both sets of principals must ratify. TRUFA will hold a special informational meeting to present the tentative agreement and all TRUFA members will have the opportunity to vote on the proposals thereafter.
If you have any questions about the bargaining process, please let TRUFA know.
Tom Friedman, TRUFA President