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CUPE: The Economy

Fairness Works!

Should Teaching Assistants’ pay be tied to Tuition hikes?

Should TA pay be tied to Tuition hikes?

Teaching Assistants (TAs) are most commonly  students who work as TAs to financially support themselves while enrolled in post-secondary education.  TA wages are relied on for tuition, food and lodging, among other living expenses.  Looking back from 2009 forward to this year (2014) Teaching Assistants’ wages have not been keeping pace with Tuition Fee increases.

From September 1, 2009 through September 1, 2012 the cost of student tuition was raised by 2% per year while Teaching Assistant’s wages stagnated.  During that period, the Provincial Government implemented, through the Public Sector Employers Council (PSEC), a net zero mandate for no wage increases for each of those years.  During the same time period, tuition increased by 2% per year. 

The PSEC cooperative gains mandate was in place for the 2012 round of bargaining.  This meant that despite the Union’s best efforts to negotiate a fairer wage, from September 1, 2012 to March 1, 2013 Teaching Assistant’s wages were staged in increments of 1%, which amounted to less than 2% per year.  In the 2012 round of bargaining the staged wage increases allowed the union to establish a Conference Award fund accessible to TAs, which would not have been achieved any other way according to the PSEC mandate.

The recently released University of Victoria’s 2014/15 budget framework provides for 2% tuition increase, 2% parking increase, 3% dorm & cluster housing increase and 3% child care increase.

With the Component 1 & 2 agreement (TAs, Computer Help Desk, Second Language Teachers and Cultural Assistants) expiring August 31, 2014, CUPE4163 along with all other public sector workers will be bargaining under the cloud of PSEC’s Economic Stability Mandate.  Several public sector unions have recently settled within this mandate for 5.5% over a 5 year term. 

The forgoing provides the backdrop for the conversation.  Let’s talk. TAs’ wage increases should at the very least meet tuition hikes. 

Social Justice Fund Nomination deadline March 17, 2014

Social Justice Fund Nomination Deadline:  March 17, 2014

CUPE4163 deducts $1.00 from each member’s pay in the month of November each year.  The money generated from this makes up the foundation of CUPE4163 Social Justice Fund.  The Intent of this fund it to help those in need in the global and local community.  Half of the Social Justice Fund is distributed from a vote at the AGM and the other half at the SAGM.  Members are encouraged to bring forward their ideas on what charities should be the beneficiary of this fund.  A single beneficiary will be chosen by vote at the AGM, Thursday March 20, 2014.

To nominate a charity, you are restricted to writing two paragraphs about the charity and why you are nominating it.  Nominations received prior to March 17, 2014 will be provided to the AGM for consideration.  You will be allowed a 1 minute speech on your nomination prior to the vote at the AGM.

To nominate your favourite charity email the office  or

Vote at the AGM – Thursday, March 20, 2014 @ 5PM

Universities Coordinated Bargaining Committee – CUPE Working Together

The Glue – January 2014

Read the latest edition of the newsletter for UVic’s educational workers!

the glue january 2014

The highly-educated working poor: Adjunct professors

BCGEU reach tentative agreements

Post Secondary Education: Our Choices, Our Future

The Canadian Union of Public Employees believes that access to publicly provided higher education is a right.   Building and maintaining a quality post-secondary education system should be a high-and urgent-government priority because higher education plays a crucial role in the lives of individuals, and in our economic, social and cultural development. (inside cover).  To read publication go to:

SAGM Approves Bylaw Amendments

CUPE 4163′s parliament (SAGM) met Friday Nov 1, 2013.  Some of the highlights are listed below:

  • Bylaw amendments were approved and are now on their way to CUPE National for approval from the National President, Paul Moist
  • Budget 2013/14 Approved
  • Highlights of  Component Reports:
  • Component 1 – Steward’s Council up and running;  need members to contact the office where TAships are being eliminated or hours being reduced (trying to track affects of UVic budget cuts 4% this year); Collective agreement expires August 2014.
  • Component 2 growing as ESL gets more students; collective agreement expires August 2014;  
  • Component 3 Looking for members for Bargaining Strategy Committee as collective agreement expires April 2014 and will start bargaining in January 2014;  Cuts have been significant and still more to come; Humanities has dropped 10 courses traditionally taught by Term Sessionals, members please contact the office if you are willing to volunteer to work to stop the cuts.
  • Social Justice Fund goes to Together Against Poverty (TAPS) TAPS engages in public legal education and individual advocacy around topics that are of particular concern to those living in poverty, such as Residential Tenancy Law, Income Assistance rules, Employment Standards legislation and legal protections for those living with a disability.
  • CUPE 4163 exists to act on behalf of its members – please be sure to contact the office if you have any questions/concerns.  If we don’t know the answer to your question we will find someone who does.