UNBC Faculty Association Responds to Arbitration Decision

Created 7 January 2016 11:01

The following statement has been issued by the University of Northern British Columbia Faculty Association in response to the recent decision by Arbitrator Stan Lanyon in the Interest Arbitration held in November 2015.

The UNBC Faculty Association were seeking to remedy serous deficiencies with their salary structure and address inequities in compensation with comparator institutions.

The arbitration was convened under the auspices of Article 55 of the Labor Code of British Columbia when UNBC invoked its right to suspend the strike pending further mediation. When the two sides were unable to reach agreement the provincially appointed mediator, Trevor Sones, recommended binding interest arbitration. The full decision can be found here.

Statement from Stephen Rader, President of UNBC FA:

Arbitrator Stan Lanyon delivered his award in the interest arbitration between the UNBC Faculty Association and the UNBC Administration shortly before the end of the fall semester. The 47-page decision, described as “deeply disappointing” by the UNBC FA, wholly rejects both the FA’s suggested comparisons to similar universities across Canada and the FA’s proposal to remap UNBC salaries to bring them more in line with the sector norm. Indeed, after much discussion of appropriate comparators, Lanyon appears to have settled on UVic as the only appropriate one. On this basis, he awarded UNBC a salary increase 0.5% above what the Administration had offered – and what PSEC had authorized – over the five-year term of the contract. This increase will reduce, by a small amount, the ~15% discrepancy between UNBC and UVic, but will do nothing to correct UNBC’s broken salary structure that sees faculty salaries fall further behind comparators with every year of service to the university. Apparently ignoring the Faculty Association strike last year, Lanyon claimed that the current salary system was jointly designed and agreed by both parties, which may have been true six years ago, but is demonstrably false today. By failing to address the salary problems that even UNBC’s Administration acknowledges, this decision sets the stage for many more years of tense relations on the UNBC campus.