No progress despite employer’s Savings Plan

By the Numbers

Years since our contract expired: 2
Months of face-to-face negotiations: 20
Number of bargaining sessions: 15
Progress so far: Net ‘0’

Despite the continued hard work of our bargaining committee and all the time spent at the negotiating table, we have not reached agreement with SFU on any substantive proposals for a new collective agreement. In fact, the employer is still pushing for concessions on many of our rights, including:

  • A drastic reduction in Sick Leave benefits
  • Scheduling provisions that could end two-day weekends
  • An end to modified work weeks
  • An end to the Long-Term Disability denial appeal process

We are negotiating for a four-year deal – the first two years (2010 and 2011) give us no wage increases because of the province’s Net Zero Mandate. So, in terms of buying power, our wages are already worth 7.29% less (Canadian Consumer Price Index figure) than when we got our last wage increase way back in 2009.

We have been forced to negotiate the next two years (2012 and 2013) under the BC government’s Cooperative Gains Mandate. This instructed our employer to “identify savings…to be used to fund compensation increases that will facilitate negotiated settlements with unions through collective bargaining”. SFU’s savings plan has been approved by the government and returned, but the employer has refused to share the results. At this point, we do not even know if there is any money in the plan.

Under Cooperative Gains, any savings made in the plan are to be directed specifically to wage increases. We will continue to demand that money from the approved savings plan be tabled for wage increases as required under the mandate. The bargaining committee is very concerned that SFU may try to apply money identified in the savings plan to patch up the dangerously underfunded Simon Fraser University Pension Plan. The pension plan is under discussion separately by SFU, APSA, Polyparty and CUPE and is not part of contract talks.

The Bottom Line
Despite our best efforts and willingness to bargain in good faith for a fair and reasonable contract, we are facing an employer and a provincial government that want us to work more for less and want to strip us of our rights to work-life balance, health and retirement. We are now weighing our options to protect those rights.

Stand strong with CUPE 3338 for a fair & reasonable collective agreement!