ULFA and the Board of Governors are currently involved in a dispute before the Labour Relations Board regarding the applicability of bridging provisions to pay increases and other benefits that ULFA believes were payable as of Member’s July pay cheques. The expected increases include Career Progress Increments, Merit Increments, Professional Supplements, and Cost of Living Adjustments (COLA).
In recent years, in the absence of regulations to the contrary, the Board of Governors’ practice was often to withhold such increases until a new contract was settled. ULFA argues that based on the wording of our 2016 agreement and in the absence of a new agreement, such increases are required now that labour relations are conducted under the Labour Relations Code, rather than the PSLA. After the Board of Governors indicated that it would not pay some or all of these increases as ULFA believes is required, ULFA filed an Unfair Labour Practice complaint with the Labour Relations Board.
Board of Governors Agrees to pay Career Progress, Merit, & Professional Supplement
In its response to ULFA’s complaint, the Board of Governors has indicated that it will distribute Professional Supplement funds, and pay Career Progress and merit increments, though it still intends to withhold COLA barring a ruling to the contrary from the Labour Relations Board or an Arbitrator appointed under Article 1 of the current faculty Handbook (ULFA dispute the applicability of Article 1 in this case).
This agreement to pay the increments is a welcome improvement over the Board of Governors’ practice in previous years when they withheld some or all of these payments. Most members are, as a result, likely to see a salary increase on their forthcoming July pay (and in their salary letters). Eligible members may also submit claims against their 2018-2019 Professional Supplement Allowance.
No Agreement on COLA
Although it will pay Career Progress, Merit, and Professional Supplement, the Board of Governors has not agreed to pay COLA as ULFA believes is required. ULFA’s Unfair Labour Practice complaint on this matter is currently before the Labour Relations Board and, if successful, may result in a retroactive payment for COLA from July 1 onwards.