“The Kwantlen Faculty Association categorically denies your interpretation of the University Act,” she wrote. Van Sternburg acknowledged that a recent decision by labour arbitrator David McPhillips had sparked “controversy over the power of research universities to repeal the provisions of collective agreements,” but that decision is contested and does not apply to new universities, she wrote. (For more information on McPhillips arbitration, check out the sidebar.) “Finally, it should be noted that the continuation of Kwantlen University College as a university and the designation of faculties do not impair the validity, concept or content of the two collective agreements. These remain in place. The upcoming bickering over B.C. Campus over the powers of newly created senates in teaching universities to veto the language of the collective agreement could abolish a 2008 labour code ruling by an arbitrator named David C. McPhillips. At Kwantlen Polytechnic University, the University of the Frastic Valley, at the University of Vancouver Island (formerly Malaspina College), Capilano University and Emily Carr University of Art and Design, their faculty administrators indicated in similar letters that they now believed, on the basis of legal advice, that school senates could be able to unilaterally remove the provisions agreed in existing university conventions. At the University of Vancouver Island, the letters were sent to the residents of CUPE and BCGEU, as well as to the Faculty Association. “The Governing Council respects the privacy of the correspondence that may characterize collective agreement negotiations in Kwantlen.
The Board of Directors recognizes that governance roles have changed in the meantime as a result of the Universities Act and, due to differences of opinion between the Board of Directors and the KFA, it does not find a useful purpose to begin something that might be akin to a public debate in the media. 3) Library assistants/offices and technicians at Okanagan College are also part of the BCGEU. Although they participate as staff support at kPU, they have another collective agreement. At capilano University, President Greg Lee The Tyee said his government would try to “rework” the existing collective agreement with the faculty. “I have no interest in filing a complaint,” Lee said. This innovative approach to collective bargaining, proposed by Kwantlen`s directors, elicited an immediate and unfortunate response from the university`s faculties` union and its allies. “It is possible that there are some current provisions of the collective agreement that were negotiated in good faith at the time, but that deal with areas that could now be under the jurisdiction of the Senate. If, in the future, the Senate, in carrying out its legal functions, adopts a policy that may or may be totally or partially in conflict with the existing collective language, our law is that such a conflict would render these parts of the collective agreement contrary to Senate policy. Mark Thompson, professor emeritus at UBC`s Sauder School of Business, recalls part of the history of the current feuds over faculty associations, union formation and administrative powers.