- How many people does Brock University employ?
- Will any of these positions be eliminated?
- What steps have been taken to limit the impact on people who hold these positions?
- When will I know if my position has been eliminated?
- How big is Brock University’s budget?
- What are the key components of the University’s budget?
- What is the current deficit?
- How did we get here?
- What is our progress?
- What is a collective agreement?
- What is collective bargaining?
- Is Brock currently in collective bargaining with any employee groups?
- What happens if, during collective bargaining, the employer and the union cannot agree on the terms of a collective agreement?
- What is conciliation?
- Has either party requested the appointment of a conciliation officer?
- What if the employer and the union cannot reach agreement in conciliation?
- Has a “no-board report” been requested by either party?
- I heard that the Union has held a strike vote. What is a strike? What is a strike vote?
- Does a positive strike vote mean there will be a strike at the University?
- What further help is available to the employer and union after a “no-board report” gets issued?
How many people does Brock University employ?
The University employed 5,563 people in 2013 (number of T4s issued) and budgeted $199 million in personnel costs for the fiscal year 2013-14. Approximately 1,600 of these employees hold ongoing staff and faculty positions.Top
Will any of these positions be eliminated?
At a town hall meeting on April 9, the University announced that a total of 86 staff positions have been identified to date for elimination from the 2014-15 operating budget.
Of those 86 positions, 40 have been vacated through attrition (voluntary resignations and retirements) or non-renewal of employment contracts, and nine staff redeployment opportunities have been identified.Top
What steps have been taken to limit the impact on people who hold these positions?
The University reviewed all positions that became vacant in the past several months, and restructured administrative functions where possible. Where eliminating a vacant position was not possible, the University sought to fill them with qualified full-time staff whose own positions were to be eliminated. When a position could not be eliminated through attrition or redeployment, some staff members were subject to layoff.Top
When will I know if my position has been eliminated?
The University will continue to review positions that are vacated through attrition, and where possible will redeploy qualified staff whose own positions have been affected. All employees holding an affected position will be informed as soon as possible and no later than April 30, 2014.
How big is Brock University’s budget?
The University had an approved budget of $289.3M in 2013-14.Top
What are the key components of the University’s budget?
Budgeted revenues of $274.8M in 2013-14 include student fees ($135M), grants ($91.9M) and other revenues ($47.9M).
Total operating expenses of $289.3M include personnel costs ($199M) and non-salary operating costs ($90.3M).Top
What is the current deficit?
The University originally forecasted an operating deficit of $14.5M in 2013-14 and a budget deficit of $20M in 2014-15.Top
How did we get here?
It was not one decision or item that brought about these deficits. A number of key factors exist today that did not exist a few years ago, such as:
- annual pension payments ($5.8M);
- utility, operating costs and debt payments related to the Cairns research complex ($4.8M);
- deferred maintenance needs ($2.5M);
- new commitments to transdisciplinary institutes ($1M);
- and changes to government funding, such as the new tuition policy, operating grant reductions, international student tax and reduced property tax funding ($2.5M).
What is our progress?
As of April 9, the University updated its budget forecast for 2013-14 based on mitigation efforts and is now forecasting a budget deficit of $7M (vs. the previous forecast of $14.5M). The University is currently forecasting a budget deficit of $5.7M (vs. the previous forecast of $20M) for 2014-15.
There is more work to be done before a final budget is presented to the Board of Trustees in June. Updates will be provided via this website.Top
What is a collective agreement?
A collective agreement is a written contract of employment covering a group of employees who are represented by a trade union. This agreement contains provisions governing the terms and conditions of employment.Top
What is collective bargaining?
Collective bargaining is a process in which a trade union and an employer negotiate a first collective agreement or the renewal of a previous collective agreement.Top
Is Brock currently in collective bargaining with any employee groups?
Yes, Brock is currently negotiating renewal collective agreements with two unions:
- OSSTF, District 35 — Expired 30 April 2015 (Represents support staff)
- CUPE Local 2220 — Expires 30 June 2015 (Represents support staff at Rodman Hall Art Centre)
What happens if, during collective bargaining, the employer and the union cannot agree on the terms of a collective agreement?
Either the employer or the union may apply to the Ministry of Labour to appoint a conciliation officer. This officer will then try to help the parties reach an agreement.Top
What is conciliation?
Conciliation is a process by which a union or an employer can apply to the Ministry of Labour for help in reaching a collective agreement.Top
Has either party requested the appointment of a conciliation officer?
Yes, OSSTF, District 35 requested the appointment of a conciliation officer on 5 June 2015, and the University requested the appointment of a conciliation officer to assist in its negotiations with CUPE, Local 2220 on 16 June 2015.Top
What if the employer and the union cannot reach agreement in conciliation?
The conciliation officer informs the Ministry of Labour that a collective agreement could not be reached. The Ministry of Labour then issues a notice informing the union and the employer that the Ministry “does not consider it advisable to appoint a conciliation board”. This notice is commonly known as the “no-board report”.Top
Has a “no-board report” been requested by either party?
Neither party has requested a “no board report” at this time. The University anticipates that negotiations with OSSTF District 35 and CUPE Local 2220 will continue with the assistance of a conciliation officer.Top
I heard that the Union has held a strike vote. What is a strike? What is a strike vote?
A strike is any cessation of work, including a work slowdown, resulting in an interruption of the employer’s operations by bargaining unit employees.
Bargaining unit members cannot lawfully strike unless a strike vote by secret ballot is taken by the Union and more than 50% of voting bargaining unit members vote in favour of a strike. A successful strike vote authorizes the union’s representatives to set a strike deadline and call a strike if they believe that further negotiations will not reach a collective agreement.Top
Does a positive strike vote mean there will be a strike at the University?
No. In addition to a positive strike vote, the following is required for a strike to lawfully occur:
- The Collective Agreement must have expired;
- A Conciliation Officer must have been appointed and a “no-board” issued, and;
- 17 days must have passed since the Minister of Labour has mailed the “no board” notice.
The conciliation officer has not informed the Ministry of Labour that the parties are unable to reach a collective agreement. No strike deadlines have been set at this time. In the event that a strike deadline was set by any of the Unions that represent University employees, additional information would be provided on this website at that time.Top
What further help is available to the employer and union after a “no-board report” gets issued?
If the parties have not reached a settlement in conciliation and the “no-board report” has been sent to the parties, the Ministry of Labour offers the services of a mediator to confer with the parties and try to reach a collective agreement.Top