The fourth week of bargaining to renew the Common Agreement for more than 6,600 post-secondary educators and employers in B.C. focused on educational technology, international education, health and welfare benefits and leaves.
Vancouver (19 Nov 2004) - The fourth week of bargaining to renew the Common Agreement for more than 6,600 post-secondary educators and employers in B.C. focused on educational technology, international education, health and welfare benefits and leaves. Members of the negotiating committee for the Federation of Post-Secondary Educators of BC and the BC Government and Service Employees’ Union say the parties are beginning to make progress, but many substantial issues still need to be resolved.
The week began with an employer presentation on health and welfare benefits, including projected benefits costs to 2010. While no proposals have been formally exchanged, the employers have signaled an interest in finding greater efficiency within the current benefits programs. The employers have informally proposed that this work be undertaken through the Joint Committee on Benefits Administration, which would then make recommendations for the next round of bargaining. Unions are reviewing employer data and are planning to table proposals for improvements to health and welfare benefits next week.
Also this week, unions tabled a proposal on deferred salary leave, and made and received counter proposals on educational technology. While the parties have some areas of agreement on educational technology, joint union negotiating committee members say that there are a number of difficult issues still on the table.
In the area of international education, employers responded to union proposals with a substantive counter proposal, which the unions were pleased to see. The parties engaged in detailed discussion of the respective proposals and are finding some common ground.
The parties came to agreement on a number of issues related to parental leave, including an expanded definition of the family and confirmation of a continuation of benefits during parental leave.
Negotiations resume on Monday November 22. The joint union negotiating committee expects to table demands for health and welfare benefit improvements next week.
For more information, members of locals involved in common table bargaining can contact their representative on the joint union negotiating committee. Other inquiries can be directed to Roseanne Moran, FPSE Communications at 604-873-8988 or Stephen Howard, BCGEU Communications at 604-291-9611.