Warning message

Please note that this page is from our archives. There may be more up-to-date content about this topic on our website. Use our search engine to find out.
Two universities, two separate processes, but the same mediator.

Nearly 5000 teaching assistants, support, service and technical staff at the University of British Columbia, members of CUPE 2278, 2950 and 116, are awaiting the binding decision of Mark Brown, appointed by the provincial government to act as mediator arbitrator in the dispute over tuition fees, benefits and wages. The report was expected no earlier than April 14.

Meanwhile, 750 Simon Fraser University support staff are awaiting a non-binding recommendation from the same mediator – this time in his role as an Industrial Inquiry Commissioner appointed by the provincial Liberals. The SFU recommendations were to be issued no later than April 14. The same day, but will the outcome be the same?

From the beginning of bargaining at both BC universities, fairness has been the key issue. Both administrations seem bent on introducing multi-tiered systems of treatment for their employees, distinguishing radically between the way executives, faculty, administration and finally support, service and technical staff are treated.

As to teaching assistants at UBC, University president Martha Piper has said it was acceptable to treat TA’s differently since their jobs were not “career path jobs.”