Bargaining begins for post-secondary educators

Working conditions have direct relation to classroom conditions.

A key to improving the learning environment for post-secondary students in BC will be improving working conditions for educators, say the people who work in BC's post-secondary institutions.

Members of the Federation of Post-Secondary Educators of BC (FPSE) and the BC Government and Service Employees' Union (BCGEU) have begun bargaining for a new collective agreement with employers across the province. The unions met with representatives of the Post-Secondary Employers' Association (PSEA) May 11 and agreed to continue meeting for four straight days.

Cindy Oliver, President of FPSE, said that educators want to ensure that their working conditions are competitive given the continued need to recruit new faculty and staff and to retain those in the post-secondary education system. "Members recognize that if we are to maintain the quality of education, educators need improved job security and equity, and a strengthened capacity to participate in educational decision-making," said Oliver.

Daryl Walker, President of the BCGEU, said, "Better working conditions create a stable learning environment for students and instructors, which is a key goal in achieving a quality post-secondary education system that meets the economic needs of our province."

The current Common Agreement was signed in 2007 and expired on March 31, 2010. In this round of bargaining, there are 18 union locals participating in the joint union negotiating committee.

The Post-Secondary Employers' Association is the employer bargaining agent for all public colleges, universities and institutes in British Columbia. The PSEA became the accredited bargaining agent to its members in February 2004.

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For more information contact:
Cindy Oliver, FPSE President 604 619-5061 or
Phillip Legg, FPSE, Communications, 604 788-2877
Chris Bradshaw or Oliver Rolhfs, BCGEU, 604 291-9611

About FPSE

The Federation of Post-Secondary Educators of BC is the provincial voice for faculty and staff in BC teaching universities, colleges and institutes, and in private sector institutions. FPSE member locals, represented by Presidents' Council and the Executive, represent over 10,000 faculty and staff at 18 public and 12 private sector institutions.