CapilanoU – Response To Employer’s E-Mail
May 15, 2023
To: All MoveUP members at the CAPU
As we’ve said before in bulletins and membership meetings, we advise members to not put much too much weight behind the employer’s bulletins on the status of bargaining. Kartik Bharadwa has not been present at any point during our negotiations or at mediation, and the most recent bulletin the university has sent is riddled with inaccuracies and a misunderstanding of basic bargaining protocol.
However, there’s one position the employer has put forward that we want to re-iterate, a position we’ve communicated in previous bulletins and confirmed now directly by the employer :
“At the end of mediation, there was only one outstanding issue separating the parties, relating to remote work. Capilano University was one of the first post-secondary institutions to develop a pilot program that began on September 1, 2021. This pilot was developed in consultation with employees and the union. As a result of employee engagement and success of the one-year pilot program, the University reaffirmed its commitment to a remote work program by launching the Hybrid Office Program (HOP) on September 1, 2022. This program enables the University to serve the needs of CapU students while supporting the health and well-being of employees. The new LOU on HOP (page 171 of the settlement offer) that was proposed by the University provides for a discussion between the parties of any issues pertaining to the application of the policy.
Despite this demonstration of commitment, MoveUP was insistent, to the point of impasse, that we include language in the collective agreement enabling individuals to file grievances relating to the decisions of managers, with ultimate resolution handed to a third party. In this round of negotiations, remote work opportunities have been discussed across the public sector, however, the language that MoveUP has proposed would be inconsistent with the common approach and potentially compromise service delivery at the institution”
This is the language we originally tabled that the employer is taking issue with :
“The parties agree that no Employee shall be required to telecommute, and all telecommuting arrangements shall be by mutual agreement between the University and the Employee. Adversely, telecommuting arrangements shall not be unreasonably denied or rescinded by the University. Rescindment of telecommuting arrangements will not be used to manage performance or absenteeism.
Employees retain all rights and benefits of the Collective Agreement, including WCB coverage during the hours the employee is working. Salary, benefits, and job responsibilities will not change as a result of working from home.”
The Hybrid Office Program was initiated by the employer with approval by the union under the expressed commitment that the parties would discuss its inclusion in the collective agreement during negotiations. Several public sector employers in British Columbia, including at least five post-secondary institutions, have negotiated work-from-home language into their collective agreements.
This isn’t a public sector mandate issue. This isn’t a sectoral restriction.
We’re sure you can agree that the employer’s vexatious refusal to include language in the collective agreement requiring they administer work-from-home in a reasonable manner is cause of enough worry to justify our insistence, to the point of impasse.
Any employment issue where the employer openly and freely admits that they do not want members to be able to grieve if they are treated unjustly should be cause of concern for everyone.
Your Bargaining Committee:
Darin Feist, Executive Councillor
Eric Roberts, Executive Councillor
Suzanne Perreault, Executive Councillor
Nathan Beausoleil, Union Representative
Christy Slusarenko, Vice-President of Combined Units