University inks deal with two unions

NANAIMO – Vancouver Island University has reached two-year deals with both its academic and vocational faculty unions.

Vancouver Island University has reached two-year deals with both its academic and vocational faculty unions.

The VIU Faculty Association and the B.C. Government and Service Employees’ Union Local 702 both ratified new collective agreements for the period of April 1, 2012 to March 31, 2014.

The agreements include four one-per cent wage increases throughout this period, achieved through the province’s co-operative gains mandate, which requires employers to pay for any wage increases in the existing budget.

This bargaining round, negotiations between the university and faculty association went much smoother than in 2011, when the institution’s more than 700 faculty members went on strike for a month – when a settlement was reached in the spring of 2011, mediator Mark Brown noted that the parties’ relationship is strained and there is a lack of trust on both sides.

Gara Pruesse, outgoing bargaining committee chairwoman for the faculty association, said both parties had respectful discussions and the relationship is improving.

She said the provincial government’s funding freeze has meant that outstanding issues around workload were not resolved, but deferred to the next bargaining round.

For example, temporary faculty can be asked to develop new courses, but the hours spent doing this does not figure in the salary calculations – they are paid the same as temporary faculty hired to teach an already developed course, said Pruesse.

The employer and association are forming a committee to consider these types of issues, she added, and the agreement also includes new respectful workplace language and an expedited dispute resolution process, which will save money in the long run.

“The legacy of this work will help establish an important pattern for future developments at the university,” said president Ralph Nilson in a press release.

The BCGEU agreement applies to more than 300 vocational faculty at the university’s four campuses.

“We thank our membership for supporting this agreement,” said Stu Seifert, chairman of BCGEU Local 702, in a press release. “The bargaining teams for our union and the employer worked hard to reach a settlement that works for both our employees and the university.”

In January, VIU also inked a new agreement with its support workers, who shut down the university for two days in November, plus a further three-day shut down of the facilities department around the same time.

Just Posted

(Black Press file photo)
RCMP: Air ambulance called to Whiskey Creek after crash involving 2 motorbikes

Both riders taken to hospital with serious injuries

Nanaimo author B.S. Thompson has released his debut novel, ‘The Book of Nodd.’ (Photo courtesy Nora Funk)
Nanaimo author invites readers into dangerous world of dreams in debut novel

B.S. Thompson unveils ‘The Book of Nodd’ with online launch June 20

Potters Virginia Dunseith and Ruth Porter present their joint exhibit ‘Dig It’ at Art 10 Gallery until the end of June. (Josef Jacobson/News Bulletin)
Potters show pieces for home and garden at Nanaimo’s Art 10 Gallery

Virginia Dunseith and Ruth Porter’s show ‘Dig It’ on display until end of June

Construction work continues on the City of Nanaimo’s new Fire Station No. 1 on Fitzwilliam Street. (News Bulletin file)
Next phase of borrowing approved as Nanaimo fire hall construction ongoing

City of Nanaimo CAO says construction on Fitzwilliam Street hall on schedule and budget

People watch a car burn during a riot following game 7 of the NHL Stanley Cup final in downtown Vancouver, B.C., in this June 15, 2011 photo. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Geoff Howe
10 years ago: Where were you during the 2011 Vancouver Stanley Cup Riots?

Smashed-in storefronts, looting, garbage can fires and overturned cars some of the damage remembered today

Children’s shoes and flowers are shown after being placed outside the Ontario legislature in Toronto on Monday, May 31, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Frank Gunn
Ontario commits $10 million to investigate burial sites at residential schools

Truth and Reconciliation Commission identified 12 locations of unmarked burial sites in Ontario

Singer-songwriter Jann Arden is pictured with a draft horse. (Canadian Horse Defence Coalition)
Jann Arden backs petition to stop ‘appalling’ live horse export, slaughter

June 14 is the International Day to End Live Export of Animals

Two hundred and fifteen lights are placed on the lawn outside the Residential School in Kamloops, B.C., Saturday, June, 13, 2021. The remains of 215 children were discovered buried near the former Kamloops Indian Residential School earlier this month. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Days after Kamloops remains discovery, Tk’emlups families gather to unite, move ahead

‘We have to work together because this is going to be setting a precedent for the rest of the country’

In this Saturday, May 29, 2021, file photo, people crowd the Santa Monica Pier in Santa Monica, Calif. California, the first state in America to put in place a coronavirus lockdown, is now turning a page on the pandemic. Most of California’s coronavirus restrictions will disappear Tuesday, June 15, 2021. (AP Photo/Damian Dovarganes, File)
With COVID tamed, it’s a ‘grand reopening’ in California

No more state rules on social distancing, no more limits on capacity, no more mandatory masks

Montreal Canadiens goaltender Carey Price (31) is scored on by Vegas Golden Knights defenseman Alec Martinez, not pictured, during the second period in Game 1 of an NHL hockey Stanley Cup semifinal playoff series Monday, June 14, 2021, in Las Vegas. (AP Photo/John Locher)
Habs fall 4-1 to Vegas Golden Knights in Game 1 of NHL semifinal series

Match was Montreal’s first game outside of Canada in 2021

Kelowna-Lake Country MLA Norm Letnick, assistant deputy speaker at the B.C. legislature, presides over committee discussions. The legislature is completing its delayed spring session this week, with most MLAs participating by video conference. (Hansard TV)
B.C.’s daily COVID-19 infections dip below 100 over weekend

Only 68 new cases recorded Monday, four additional deaths

Gabriola Island artist Sheila Norgate is promoting the Digital Innovation Group’s art impact survey. (File photo)
Vancouver Island artists get behind regional arts impact study

Artists urged to use their stature to help put arts and culture super-region on the map

The BC Ferries website went down for a short while Monday morning following a provincial announcement that recreational travel between health authorities can resume Tuesday. (Black Press Media file photo)
BC Ferries’ website crashes in wake of provincial reopening announcement

Website back up now, recreational travel between health regions to resume as of Tuesday

Most Read