Salary Arbitration Award

Arbitrator Colin Taylor has released his award in the arbitration
regarding faculty salaries at SFU. He has upheld the University’s
position, meaning that SFUFA’s proposal has been dismissed, and
this 2013 salary arbitration award will go into effect.

Under our Framework Agreement, impasse in collective bargaining is
resolved through final selection arbitration; each party submits its
final proposal to an external arbitrator, and that arbitrator chooses
one proposal in its entirety.

The central difference between us in arbitration was our salary scale.
SFUFA argued that the extensive use of market differentials and
retention funds were evidence of a broken salary scale, and the
solution was to being to rectify the situation by re-mapping the scale
to better reflect actual salaries and build greater equity and
consistency into the system. SFU proposed to add new merit steps to
the Senior Lecturer and Full Professor scales, providing some
possibility for movement to those at the tops of scales without the
ability to seek promotion.

The arbitrator has accepted the University’s proposal; he does not
provide detailed reasons, but it appears that the University’s
arguments regarding its financial dependence upon the province and a
pattern of stagnant if not decreased funding in real terms were a
major factor in his decision.

SFUFA is disappointed in this decision, to be sure. We understand,
however, that the Framework Agreement dictates that this is the only
process available to us, and that the decision of the arbitrator is
final and binding.

The salary agreement that is in place, then, for the 2012-2014 period,
is as follows:

–       a 2% general increase effective July 1, 2012. The Admin is now
working on retroactive pay.

–       a 1.95% general increase effective July 1, 2013.

–       increase in the benefit for psychological services  from the
current limit of $100/year to $1000/year payable at 80% of actual cost of
service with no per visit limitation. This also effective 1 July 2013, but will
be prorated for the first 6 months.

–       4 merit steps to be added ONLY to the top of the Full Professor and
Senior Lecturer scale effective 1 Sept 2013.  Steps awards received by
members at ceilings of the Full Professor or Senior Lecturer on 1 Sept 2012
are NOT affected, i.e. no movement. Because these are merit steps, you must
have received an award of 1.5 or higher to move higher on these steps if you
are currently at the ceilings of these two ranks. An award of 1.5 steps moves
you 1 step higher on the scale; an award of 2.0 moves you 2.0 higher on the

– No change to the salary scales for Librarians/Archivists,
Laboratory Instructors, Lecturers, Assistant or Associate Professors

SFUFA and the Administration are still working on the details of
the Teaching Professor rank, Market Differentials for Librarians, and
Professional Practice Faculty. Negotiations will resume once both
sides are back later in May.

U.Vic, UBC, and UNBC have also not yet settled and currently in
mediation/arbitration as well.

Disappointing news for sure. The problems with our salary scales at
SFU have NOT gone away and our relative position to the rest of Canada
will continue to deteriorate.

Bargaining for the next contract starts up again in September 2013.

Stay tuned!

A re-cap of the offers submitted is available here.