U of A and NASA exchange proposals

06 May 2021

Update (May 10, 12:00 p.m.): Revised U of A opening proposal with NASA »

On April 28th, the University of Alberta bargaining committee exchanged opening proposals with NASA. The package acknowledges the changing and challenging landscape of the post-secondary sector and at the U of A.

The post-secondary sector is evolving quickly in Alberta, and around the world. At the U of A, the financial pressures we face are significant. Over the past 2 ½ years, there has been a reduction of $170 million to the University of Alberta’s provincial grant funding, including a $60M reduction in the recent 2021 provincial budget. We anticipate an additional $54 million reduction in 2022-2023 for a total reduction of $224 million. 

We recognize that all members of the U of A community are working hard to address current crises; however, to sustain our excellence in teaching, learning and community engagement, our financial reality needs to be recognized in all of our activities, including collective bargaining.

With that context in mind, the university’s opening statement proposes a five-year term, with a three percent reduction to base salaries. Proposals also recognize the university’s need to bring rates of salary and benefit growth in line with current markets and institutional financial realities. 

Key proposals presented to NASA include:

  • 5-year term, expiring March 31, 2024
  • a 3% reduction to all base salaries and salary schedules, and an additional reduction applicable to certain over-market positions 
  • no incremental increase to total compensation over the life of the agreement  (we note that Step-based performance increments will continue to apply, which represents an actual annual cost to the University in the approximate amount of $3.9M or 1.4% of salary)
  • introduction of a benefits co-pay, allocating a portion of the benefits costs to employees
  • simplifying and enhancing managerial flexibility relating to the Position Disruption provisions of the agreement

The university acknowledges that this will be a very challenging round of collective bargaining.  Opening proposals are a starting point. Through negotiation, we seek an agreement that mitigates job loss and balances the value we place on the critical work of support staff with the financial realities faced by the university. 

The U of A bargaining committee acknowledges and thanks the members of the NASA Bargaining Team for their engagement in this important process at a time and circumstance when personal and professional challenges abound. The university commits to good faith negotiations toward a renewal agreement.