According to Davis, the reason P.A. teachers have done better than those of other post-secondary institutions is because of their collective agreement – a series of laws between the university and the union. Davis says the P.A. has a well-thought-out collective agreement that allows professors to move regularly from a contract position to a regular faculty member. FPSE employees and local elected officials successfully defend the integrity of collective agreements. Local stewards handle most complaints in the initial phase. Where complaints cannot be resolved at the outset, FPSE staff representatives work with Aboriginal people until arbitration if necessary. The FPSE regularly provides training on aboriginal labour relations, and the Contract Management Review Committee (CARC) regularly brings together chief stewards to coordinate and learn how to best protect the rights of collective agreements. “16 years of previous government and budget reserves in collective bargaining – even the reluctance to negotiate – have made it very difficult to track the cost of living,” says Davis. “It was a fight.” The DCFA represents regular and conventional faculties in collective bargaining on wages, benefits and working conditions. The DCFA also represents faculties on work-related issues, including appointments, evaluation, performance plans, workload, professional development and working conditions. Mr.
Davis believes that this situation can be improved by negotiating collective agreements with employers. He sees the potential in this government to get better salaries for meeting faculties. “Other universities may have other collective agreements or other unions representing the faculty of assembly versus current faculties,” Davis says. “The rules can be a little different, and it comes from a historical perspective. So if you compare us to the SFU, to UVIC, to UBC, we are very different, especially because we have a [teaching] mandate. Below is the current agreement and previous agreements. A collective agreement is a negotiated contract between the employer and the union that sets the wages and working conditions for all workers covered by the agreement. The agreement provides for an appeal procedure in case the employer does not comply with the terms of the agreement. The Federation of Post-Secondary Educators of BC (FPSE), with approximately 10,000 strong members, is a collective of unions across the province. Like the CAUT, they are fighting for greater job security for higher education teachers. Many universities are run as companies that have to make a profit and shift the focus on cost reduction. Bose challenges this status quo and invites others to reconsider the true purpose of a university.