Labour Relations Updates

Human Resources

PSAC – Academic Capacity Bargaining Unit

Manitoba Labour Board Imposes 1 year Collective Agreement for PSAC Academic Capacity Bargaining Unit.

University of Winnipeg employees, represented by the Public Service Alliance of Canada (PSAC) in the Academic Capacity Bargaining Unit, have recently had a 1 year collective agreement imposed by the Manitoba Labour Board in accordance with the Manitoba Labour Relations Act. The imposed collective agreement is effective January 26, 2017 to January 25, 2018.  This bargaining unit consists of Teaching Assistants, Markers, Lab Demonstrators, and Tutors. 

This bargaining unit certified in 2011, and the University and PSAC have been bargaining this agreement since February of 2015. The parties were unable to complete the process and went through formal conciliation. When the outstanding issues were not able to be resolved, the parties were required, under the Manitoba Labour Relations Act, to proceed to the Manitoba Labour Board to impose a collective agreement on the outstanding matters.  

The substantive outstanding issues put before the Labour Board, while primarily monetary (wages, paid leaves, etc), also included the PSAC’s request for a priority hiring provision.

The University’s presentation on wages and other compensation related articles emphasized the challenging financial situation facing both the University and the Province (our primary funder), and recent settlements which have included a wage pause at University of Manitoba. We also presented in favour of the ability to select employees based solely on their qualifications and experience.

We have established two classifications for positions covered by this Collective Agreement, which will be a significant change. This will require a review by the hiring departments to ensure current employees are properly classified prior to adjusting salaries to those noted below.

The Labour Board imposed settlement provides for two increases in the first year (no retroactivity), as follows:

                                                   Effective Jan 26, 2017            Effective Aug 28, 2017 – 2%

Academic Capacity 1 -
Markers, Lab Demonstrators, and Tutors     $12.55                               $12.80

Academic Capacity 2 -
Teaching Assistants                                    $13.56                               $13.83

It should be noted that this group of employees had not received an increase, other than minimum wage, since 2011, as wages were frozen upon certification of the bargaining unit.  For the majority of employees (397 of 440) presently in this bargaining unit, the above-noted wage rates represent an increase of approximately 11% over that time period.

Commencing in the Spring Term, all positions are required to be posted based on the classification specifications. Appointments in the bargaining unit are normally directed at qualified student applicants.  There is recognition that not all positions would be filled by UWinnipeg students. Given the smaller number of graduate programs, there are not always qualified students available for upper level classes.

Priority Hiring: The Labour Board did award a priority hiring provision, which indicates that where two or more applicants meet a position’s criteria, then subject to satisfactory performance, priority shall be given to an applicant who has already held an appointment for that course. 

Human Resources staff will be holding sessions in the coming weeks for the academic departments directly impacted to review this new collective agreement.

Note:  Individuals enrolled in graduate programs are awarded an assistantship, which includes functions that are found within this bargaining unit (for example, assistantship awards often include Teaching Assistant expectations).  As this is part of their graduate program, individuals in receipt of an assistantship are not included in this collective agreement.  However, graduate students may compete for, and receive employment income for work outside of their respective assistantships.

AESES Bargaining Unit

The University of Winnipeg is pleased to announce that employees represented by the Association of Employees Supporting Education Services (AESES) have ratified a new Collective Agreement.  The Agreement is a 4.5-year contract which is retroactive to March 29, 2015 and extends to September 24, 2019.  The contract provides for General Salary Increases of 7.5% over the timeframe, along with changes to various governance articles in the Collective Agreement. 

PSAC – ELP Instructors Bargaining Unit

The University and the Public Service Alliance of Canada commenced bargaining in July for the renewal of the collective agreement for the English Language Program Instructors bargaining unit. They have set tentative dates to continue negotiations in September.

UWFA – Contract Academic Staff Unit

The University of Winnipeg Faculty Association and The University of Winnipeg have reached agreement on a 4-year collective agreement with the Contract Academic Staff bargaining unit.  The proposal, which was ratified by the Members on June 30, provides for a 4-year Collective Agreement, with increases of 7% over the 4 years.

UWFA – Regular Academic Staff Unit

The University of Winnipeg Faculty Association and The University of Winnipeg have reached a tentative agreement on a 4.5-year collective agreement, subject to ratification by the Members of the bargaining unit. The Faculty Association has advised that they are recommending ratification to the membership, and will be holding a ratification vote over the next few weeks. The parties have agreed that no details of the proposal will be shared publicly until an agreement has been finalized and agreed to by the Members.