Your dedicated bargaining team, led by our very capable CUPE Alberta representative Jennifer Chretien, is soldiering on. Admittedly, negotiations have proceeded somewhat slowly mainly due to problems finding common times for both sides to meet. Just FYI, that is pretty typical of union negotiations as a whole in this era; nothing gets resolved very quickly. Other CUPE locals and other unions have told us that their negotiations are also going slowly. We do have some agreed-upon dates for meeting with the representatives of the AU later in February as well as in March so we hope to make some more significant progress this month.
The really good news is that we have now completed negotiations on the non-compensatory (non-money) items. We finally settled the two main items that have been slowing us down and have come to agreement with the other side. Now that those items are settled, we will proceed to the compensation (money) related items. At that point things may get interesting. There are rumours that the provincial government is “nudging” the universities, colleges, and technical schools toward giving zero in terms of any increases in wages. We hope this is not the case, first, because our members (and many other union members) have not had increases for some time, and, second, because it is actually illegal for the government to interfere in the “free” collective bargaining process.