Sessional instructors, university, reach collective bargaining agreement

Campus Local News

Deal includes three-year term, two per cent wage increases, and new eligibility formula for continuing status

File photo by Belle White

The University of Victoria and Component Three of CUPE 4163, the union representing sessional and music performance instructors, reached an agreement earlier this month following mediation, avoiding potential job action for over 800 instructors on campus. 

CUPE 4163 represents over 1 500 instructors at UVic — who perform more than 60 per cent of the instruction at the university — and is broken down into separate components. Component One includes teaching assistants and lab instructors, Component Two represents second language teachers, and Component Three is composed of about 800 of the continuing lecturers and sessional instructors on campus. 

After talks broke down in the summer, CUPE 4163 Component Three launched a public campaign last month, running ads on BC Transit buses with advertisements that read “If we show you our faces, we could lose our jobs.” 

However, after five months of failed bargaining, the two sides reached an agreement after two days of mediation. 

Among the details of the agreement, the university highlighted a three-year term (May 2019 to April 2022), yearly wage increases of two per cent, and a new eligibility formula for instructors within Component Three. 

“We didn’t get everything we wanted but it’s a good start that we believe goes a long way to improving working conditions for our members,” said Greg Melnechuk, CUPE 4163 President, in a statement reported by the Canadian Press.

With Component Three’s agreement now settled, UVic will turn its attention to working out new collective agreements with CUPE 951, 917, and Components One and Two