New Brunswick

UNB faculty awarded 12.5% increase by arbitration board

An arbitration board has awarded faculty at the University of New Brunswick a pay increase of 12.5 per cent over three years.

Wage issue was central in three-week strike by AUNBT in January 2014

An arbitration board has awarded faculty at the University of New Brunswick a pay increase of 12.5 per cent over three years.

The ruling by the three-person arbitration board issued Monday awards the Association of University of New Brunswick Teachers pay adjustments of:
  • Year 1 - A total increase of 3.5 per cent (an additional 1 per cent)
  • Year 2 - A total increase of 4 per cent (an additional 1.5 per cent)
  • Year 3 - An increase of 5 per cent

The professors' union staged a strike in January to back their demands for pay increases to bring their earnings in line with faculty at 14 universities of similar size in Canada.

The faculty association argued salaries at UNB are significantly below the average of similar universities and a catch-up of $4,200 per year for each year was appropriate, with an additional $2.5 per cent increase in the third year.

UNB administration argued that no further increases were required in the first two years fo the contract and proposed that an increase of between 1 per cent and 2.5 per cent in the third year.

The arbitration board consisted of chair Brian Keller, UNB nominee Richard Petrie and AUNBT nominee Joël Michaud.

"In our view, based on our experience in this field, it is more than likely that had the parties eventually resolved their differences without the involvement of a third-party, the end result would have been a settlement providing for more than what was being officered at the time by the Employer but less than what was being sought at the time by the Association."

The employer and employee nominees to the board each submitted dissenting opinions to the decision authored by the board chair.

"We are very pleased to have the ruling," said AUNBT president Miriam Jones. "It has been a long and difficult year for our members and it's good to be able to cross one item off the list as we look ahead."

At the end of the previous contract, the salary ceiling for a full professor at UNB was $150,510.

UNB administration said about 60 per cent of the faculty were earning more than $100,000 a year under the previous contract.

At the outset of negotiations, the union was seeking an increase of more than 23 per cent while the university was offering an increase of 9.5 per cent.

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