Q:  What is a Collective Agreement

A:  A collective agreement is a contract negotiated between the employer and union that establishes wages and working conditions for all employees covered by the agreement. It includes a grievance procedure if the employer doesn’t follow the terms of the agreement.

The Bargaining Co-ordination committee (FPSE Committee that the CORFA Cheif Bargainer attends regularly) monitors negotiations across the post-secondary system, assists in coordinating bargaining, reviews bargaining trends, undertakes research and identifies training needs.

The Contract Administration Review Committee (FPSE Committee) brings Chief Stewards together on a regular basis to coordinate and learn how best to protect collective agreements rights.



Q:  What is arbitration? 

A:  When a grievance cannot be resolved at the initial stages, FPSE staff representatives work with us (CORFA, local 6) through to arbitration, an independent third party process where a decision binding on both parties will be issued. Grievances can be complicated situations that require significant time and effort to resolve. CORFA will represent you through the process and do their best to get a satisfactory resolution to the problem.



Q:  What is a grievance and what is the process? 

A:  A grievance is a difference between the union and employer on whether the collective agreement is being applied or interpreted correctly. If you believe the employer had acted improperly, you may be able to file a grievance. The union will “own” the grievance but must determine how or if to pursue the grievance based on the results of a full investigation and not on arbitrary factors.

Step 1: Reach out to one of CORFA’s stewards (see Executive & Committees) by email, phone or in person and discuss your situation.

Step 2: CORFA stewards bring the issue to the attention of the employer. This might take the form of a discussion between the affected employee (the grievor), the union (CORFA)  and the employer (COTR).

Step 3: If a discussion is not enough to resolves the difference, the grievance will be put in writing, stating what the issue is, how it relates to the collective agreement and the proposed resolution.

Step 4:  If the response at step 3 does not remedy the problem, a written grievance will be sent to a higher level of management.



Q:  How does collective bargaining work?

A: Every contract has a term. As the end of the contract approaches, your local bargaining committee will ask for your input on what needs to change in the agreement. The bargaining committee will begin negotiations with the employer. You won’t get verbatim reports of what happens at the bargaining table, but you will get updates on progress When the union and employer reach a tentative agreement, members are asked to vote on whether to accept (ratify) the agreement or reject it. If the parties can’t agree, you may be asked to participate in a strike vote.

Over 98% of all contract negotiations in Canada are settled without a strike. Strikes only happen when there are no other options left. FPSE’s defense fund supplements strike pay for striking local members.



Q:  How long must a period of inactivity be before Faculty Member is removed from the “Seniority” list?

A: Seniority will be lost if a break of service of more than twenty (20) months occurs.  (Collective Agreement:



Q: What are all these acronyms?

Acronym Meaning More Information
CAUT Canadian Association of University Teachers One of our affiliate organizations. http://www.caut.ca/
CORFA College of the Rockies Faculty Association The name of our Faculty Association
FPSE Federation of Post-Secondary Educators The Federation of Post-Secondary Educators of BC is the provincial voice for faculty and staff in BC universities, colleges and institutes, and in private sector institutions. http://fpse.ca/



Q: What is a functional area?

Functional areas are specific areas of work. Every Regular Faculty member is listed on the Seniority List under at least one Functional Area and sometimes under two Areas.

In 2012, CORFA prepared a Backgrounder on Functional Areas that provides additional information.


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