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The agreement reached January 8, 2001 between the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE local 2661) and the University of Quebec in Trois-Rivières marks the beginning of a new era for non-faculty teaching staff at universities. There are two important innovations in this collective agreement: salary scales replace a flat rate; and a new employment category provides for lecturers hired annually rather than on a per course basis. The agreement runs from June 1, 1999 to the end of May 2005. By 2004-05, the gross annual salary budget for the lecturers will increase by 40%.

This agreement can be described realistically as a turning point. Going beyond mere salary increases, the agreement provides for annual contracts which will integrate non-faculty teachers into the university community. These new contracts also reinforce the academic servicing of undergraduate students. As stated in the Montreal paper, Le Devoir (January 10, 2001) “A big step has been taken toward reorganizing the university. It will benefit students.” ( “Se trouve ainsi franchi un grand pas vers une réorganisation universitaire dont les étudiants devraient être les premiers gagnants”.)

The New Collective Agreement in Brief

  • Annual assignment of courses (rather than sessional) starting in 2002, will afford lecturers better time lines for planning.
  • Salary categories and scales based on academic credentials and seniority replace the flat rate (was $4,803 in 1998-99) per three credit course assigned (usually three hours of class a week for 15 weeks.).
  • There will be three categories (Bachelor’s Degree, Master’s Degree and Doctorate) and three steps on scale (first step = for 0-30 courses taught, second step = for 30-60 courses taught and third step = for 60+courses taught).
  • As of 2004-2005 there will be three categories and five steps, (0-30 courses, 30-60 courses, 60-84 courses, 84-102 courses, 102+ courses taught).
Salary increases for all the Lecturers
  • There will be a series of increases starting June 1, 1999.
  • In June 2002, the average increase of 20% (between 16% and 38%) includes a catch-up amount, plus the public sector settlement.
  • In 2003, the three credit course will then pay from $5,583 to $6,620 based on academic credentials and seniority.
  • In 2003 and 2004, all salaries will be adjusted to conform to the public sector pattern settlement.
Creation of a New Category of Annual Lectureships
  • In September 2004, up to 55 lecturers will be hired on annual contracts.
  • Their maximum teaching assignment will be 7 courses; their minimum assignment will be 5 courses.
  • Lecturers on annual contracts will have offices on campus.
  • They will become regular colleagues of full-time faculty.
  • They will be eligible for one month of annual vacation and for benefits.
  • In 2002-2003, the regular salary for lecturers on annual contract will range from $46,079 to $54, 340 (for 7 three credit courses).
  • In 2003-2004, the regular salary for lecturers on annual contract will range from $46,079 to $57,119 (for 7 three credit courses).
  • In 2004-2005, the regular salary for lecturers on annual contract will range from $46,079 to $60, 066 (for 7 three credit courses).
  • The individual’s salary will be determined by academic credentials and by seniority.
  • In 2003 and 2004, all salaries will be adjusted to conform to the public sector pattern settlement.
  • On the other hand, lecturers on annual contract will be expected to be more available to students than may presently be the case and will be called upon to take on certain additional duties (for example, to participate in evaluating programmes, and recruiting students).

Other Provisions of the UQTR Lecturers’ Agreement for 1999-2005
  • All lecturers on contract have the same voting rights as faculty when the university president, a vice-president or a dean is chosen.
  • The union and the university will jointly petition the Minister of Education for a legislative amendment providing for two lecturer representatives on UQTR’s administrative council. (Currently there is one representative.)
  • The university will make a computer available to every lecturer who is teaching four or more courses per year. (The computers currently allocated to lecturers will all be replaced within the next three years.)
  • Every lecturer on the priority list will be guaranteed free internet access for up to ten hours a week.
  • Maternity benefits will be upgraded to twelve weeks at 95% of salary for lecturers who are not eligible to receive EI maternity benefits.
  • There will be a drug plan, the cost of which will be defrayed 50%-50% by the employer and the employee. (Previously lecturers financed their plan 100% themselves.)
  • The period of coverage for salary insurance (disability) will be extended from four months to one year.
  • The hourly rate for committee meetings increases from $30 to $35.
  • New Technologies training sessions will be remunerated at the rate of $35 an hour.
  • Rates for travel (mileage) and expense claims will be reviewed twice a year.
  • The employer and the union will resume negotiations regarding the allocation of teaching assistants for large classes. (If no agreement is reached within 9 months, the issue will be decided by an arbitrator.)