When grievances arise at UNBC, both parties aim to work towards an “in-house” resolution. On occasion, however, when a dispute cannot be resolved, the parties will take the matter to arbitration.
Below are summaries of individual grievances that progressed to arbitration:
The following case deals with a faculty member who sent a letter to the City of Quesnel voicing her opinion regarding an issue being addressed by City Council. The letter, while dealing with the faculty member’s area of expertise, was provided on UNBC letterhead, without clarification that the opinions expressed in the letter did not reflect those of the University.
As a result, the Dean provided an expectation letter.
The matter was grieved and then went to arbitration. The arbitrator stopped the arbitration hearing after opening arguments and worked with the parties to issue a consent order that reinforces the University’s position regarding use of the official UNBC logo.
The University’s position was that this was not a case of academic freedom; rather, it was a case of adhering to article 29.11 in the collective agreement that states the following:
“In any exercise of free expression, Faculty Members have the responsibility to be explicit as to whether they are speaking in a professional capacity or as private citizens. Faculty Members will not speak on behalf of the University unless so authorized.”
In addition, according to the University’s “Use of Names and Symbols” policy, reference is made to the fact that “Use of the University logo and other symbols . . . provides both official authentication and indicates authority to speak on behalf of the University.” The policy also reads that, “Official University symbols have a “validating” function indicating the authorized nature of the correspondence . . .”
To read the entire case, click the link below.
The following case deals with a term faculty member who applied for reduced duties leading to retirement under Article 19.4 in the collective agreement that relates to the Phased Retirement Program available to Members who satisfy certain conditions.
The FA disagreed with the University’s position that a term Faculty Member is not eligible for reduced duties. The issue was grieved and resulted in an arbitration hearing.
Ultimately, the Arbitrator agreed with the University’s position and ruled accordingly.
To read the Phased Retirement Arbitration Award, click the link below.
On December 17, 2015, the arbitrator released his decision regarding the first collective agreement between the University of Northern British Columbia and the UNBC Faculty Association.
He has awarded a five-year contract, running from July 1, 2014 to June 30, 2019.