Update on Pre-Bargaining Discussions
May 5, 2021
Update on Pre-Bargaining Discussions
As we said in our weekly update last Friday, CUASA’s Negotiating Team was given a mandate from Council to engage in pre-bargaining discussions with the Employer in the hopes of expediting this round of collective bargaining. The Negotiating Team aims to address a number of key priorities through these pre-bargaining discussions.
CUASA’s Chief Negotiator, Chantal Dion, and Director, Christal Côté, met Monday evening with the Employer to present our counter. Here you will find a brief summary on some of our proposals.
As members may be aware, we are now in the three-year moderation period imposed on public sector unions by the provincial government’s Bill 124, the Protecting a Sustainable Public Sector for Future Generations Act, 2019, meaning the maximum compensation increase we can negotiate for the next three years is capped at 1% per year. The proposed MOA takes this into consideration as well as proposes an agreement re-opener plan in the event the legislation is declared unconstitutional.
Since not all priorities are monetary related or affected by Bill 124, we also included proposals in our counter to the Employer on these issues.
We made proposals on some financial items that are not restricted by Bill 124, such as an increase to the CDI values and to raise the salary administration data for instructors so that those members will be on an equitable field with our professional librarian members. Presently, the instructors fall far short of faculty and librarians in the salary plan. We made additional proposals for our instructor members based on the work of the Joint Parity Committee on Instructors.
We proposed extending the terms of our current Letter of Understanding with regard to the Student Experience Questionnaire so that the survey scores will remain without prejudice to our members for the next two years. This will allow us to transition out of the pandemic without any adverse effects on our members’ career or CDI decisions. This will also help the Joint Subcommittee on Teaching Evaluations with its work in introducing a new method of measuring teaching effectiveness that puts the instrument in the hands of our members.
We’ve proposed making the Joint Committee on Employment Equity, Diversity and Inclusion a permanent standing joint committee between CUASA and the University, as well as expanding the mandate of this committee to continue its important work.
Finally, and continuing on the subject of equity, we proposed to finally make advancements on closing the gender pay gap for CUASA members. The parties tried to do this together in the last round of collective bargaining. Unfortunately, things did not proceed as planned, and we were disappointed when the external reviewer selected to conduct the study was no longer available. However, we know there’s a problem here, which CUASA has maintained for years. We have a lot of female-identified members still waiting to be told by Carleton that they are as valued as the men. We’ve proposed a plan to simplify the analysis process to be more helpful. We also refreshed our numbers and proposed what we believe is a good first step: a lump sum starting payment for all female- and nonbinary-identified members to at least try to stop the gap from growing while we wait for a more in-depth analysis.
The ball is now in the University’s court. We look forward to engaging in further productive discussions on these issues, with the hopes of using these pre-bargaining discussions to expedite reaching a tentative agreement. That said, we are prepared to serve notice and transition into regular bargaining if necessary. Please continue to watch for future updates.