Learn about collective bargaining processes at the U of A and how agreements are reached.


Through collective bargaining, the University of Alberta seeks agreements that are fair, equitable, responsible, sustainable, and that support excellence. The university negotiates the terms and conditions of employment, including compensation, with four bargaining agents or unions representing university employees in the following groups:

Read more: U of A Collective Agreements & Handbooks »

Post-Secondary Collective Bargaining in Alberta

As public sector employers, the labour relations and collective bargaining of Alberta’s post-secondary institutions fall under the Labour Relations Code, the Public Service Employee Relations Act, and the Post–secondary Learning Act.

Read more: Government-funded public sector bargaining in Alberta »

Collective Bargaining Process

A typical collective bargaining process follows five main steps:


Step 1
Notice to bargain: Either the U of A or the bargaining agent can serve notice to commence collective bargaining.
Step 2

Exchange of proposals : Negotiations start with the exchange of opening  proposals from both parties, which may include proposed additions, changes or deletions of the current collective agreement.

Step 3

Negotiations: Small teams representing the U of A and the bargaining agent meet regularly in a series of negotiation sessions. The bargaining teams meet in good faith and make every reasonable effort to enter into a renewal collective agreement.

Step 4
Settlement: When the bargaining teams have reached a settlement on a tentative renewal collective agreement, the agreement must be ratified.
Step 5
Ratification: Before a tentative renewal collective agreement is considered final, it must be approved by the parties' respective principals.

Read more: Methods for resolving disputes in collective bargaining »