Four-year deal for BU faculty

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Photo: BDNMB.CA

The Brandon University Board of Governors and the BU Faculty Association have each ratified a new four-year Collective Agreement.

The renewed deal covers April 1, 2023 through March 31, 2027. It was approved by the BU Board of Governors on Wednesday. The BU Faculty Association held a multi-day ratification vote that concluded earlier today with 95% voting in favour of the deal.

“I am pleased we have reached a deal that’s fair for everyone and that recognizes the hard work and value that members of the BU Faculty Association bring to the university every day, through their research, teaching, service, and student supports,” said BU President Dr. David Docherty.

Faculty will see general wage increases of 2.5%, 2.75%, 3%, 3% across each of the years, with additional scale adjustments of 0.5% in each of the four years, a step adjustment and scale progression, including a new maximum step in year two, plus a general lump sum amount of $1,800 for full-time members and $900 for part-time members.

“It was a long process, however both BU and our BU community gained a lot in this new Collective Agreement with language that represents our diversity at Brandon University,” said BUFA President Dr. Gautam Srivastava. “I am proud of both negotiating teams and their continued commitment to make our Institution a better place to learn.”

Equity, diversity, inclusion, decolonization and reconciliation were predominant priorities in this round of negotiations and the new agreement introduces language that is both practical and aspirational that seeks to ensure members of equity-deserving groups have fair and equitable access to opportunities and recognition.

The new agreement also includes language that more equitably supports both professional and professorial members, while articulating important principles around academic freedom and detailing processes of collegial governance.

“In this transformative round of negotiations, the BUFA negotiating team relied heavily on the engagement of the membership for their expertise, consultation, and support,” said Dr. Lisa Robson, lead negotiator for BUFA. “This success is the result of a collective effort that resonates through the entire Collective Agreement.”

Both sides noted that this round of negotiations presented unique challenges due to the restrictions previously imposed by the Public Services Sustainability Act. While a typical round of bargaining might see fewer than 10 articles up for debate, this one tackled more than 30.

“In many ways, this is a wholly new agreement, because so much of it has been rewritten and renewed,” said BU lead negotiator Kristen Fisher. “While sometimes difficult, this was also rewarding work, and we are proud to embark on a fresh start here on campus.”

The BU Faculty Association represents about 250 full and part-time members at Brandon University’s campuses in Brandon and Winnipeg, including teaching faculty, and instructional and professional members, including librarians, U Sports coaches, counsellors, recruiters and student advisors.

“We are a smaller institution than some, and people on the bargaining teams also have demanding full-time jobs,” Dr. Docherty said. “I commend them for their dedication over the past months, and we all thank them for their success in reaching a deal at the table.”

With ratification, the new Collective Agreement is now in force. Following final proofing and printing, it is expected to be officially signed sometime in May.