Staff, university reach landmark agreement

UBC's management and professional (M&P) staff have, for the first time, negotiated an agreement on conditions and terms of employment with the university.

The Board of Governors recently ratified the Agreement on Conditions and Terms of Employment. The Board also approved salary increases for M&P staff.

Sarah Dench, president of the Association of Administrative and Professional Staff (AAPS), which represents all M&P staff, said the agreement will help to delineate many common practices and includes some improvements in terms and conditions of employment which had previously been determined by the university unilaterally.

"The university was pleased to reach an agreement with AAPS on very substantial employment issues, while at the same time retaining flexibility inherent in the university's relationship with its M&P staff," said Marcelle Sprecher, acting associate vice-president, Human Resources.

Sprecher also praised AAPS's and the university's negotiating committees for their work on the agreement.

All active M&P staff covered by the collective agreement should see a retroactive pay increase reflected in pay cheques later this month.

Management and professional staff voted to ratify the agreement in early May. Of 326 valid votes cast, 299 were in favour, while 27 were opposed.

"The AAPS Executive Board is pleased with the agreement and the strongly positive ratification by M&P staff," Dench said.

AAPS won approval to represent all management and professional staff at the university, whether they are AAPS members or not, in 1995. In early 1996, the university and AAPS representatives began negotiations to establish the first collective agreement.

M&P staff comprise almost a fifth of all full-time non-faculty employees at the university.

The agreement deals with employment issues ranging from flextime, performance evaluation and professional development to parental leave and job sharing.

Dench said the aim of the negotiating committee was to establish a minimum standard or basic platform for employment, which would support and protect, but not limit nor inhibit M&P staff in the workplace.