VICTORIA— The union representing sessional lecturers at the University of Victoria (UVic) has reached a tentative agreement that addresses low wages and job security.
CUPE 4163 Component 3 reached the agreement after two days of mediation, and months of protracted talks.
“It was a frustrating round of bargaining, but we’re pleased that the mediator was able to help us find common ground and reach an agreement that reflects the respect that our members deserve,” said CUPE 4163 President Greg Melnechuk.
The local represents sessional lecturers and music instructors, who teach 30 per cent of the UVic student population. Like elsewhere, these educators lack job security and have seen class sizes almost double. They also have to reapply for their position every single term. Moreover, their wages are lower than what other public sector locals in B.C. have already received.
“We didn’t get everything we wanted but it’s a good start that we believe goes a long way to improving working conditions for our members,” said Melnechuk.
More details will be made available once ratification has ended.
Local bargaining began on March 6 but after five months of exhaustive sessions, a strike vote was held and concluded on July 24. By August 8, the union and employer hit an impasse. Mediation began on September 18 and a tentative agreement was reached around 8 p.m. on September 19.