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Trinity Western University faculty ratify first contract

Three-year deal covers 180 in Langley and Richmond campuses
Visitors enjoyed some shade at Trinity Western University’s Langley campus in May of 2023. Staff at the university ratified their first collective agreement, a May announcement said. (Dan Ferguson/Langley Advance Times)

Unionized faculty at Trinity Western University (TWU) in Langley and Richmond have ratified their first collective agreement, a three-year contract that covers 180 members of Christian Labour Association of Canada (CLAC) Local 62.

Announced Friday, May 10, the deal includes annual wage increases, a new dispute resolution process, enhanced representation, and “secures many important employment conditions,” a CLAC statement said. It did not provide details.

As well, effective Jan., 2025, members will be enrolled in the union pension and benefits plans.

Nathan Mathews, CLAC representative said months of bargaining “achieved resolution on all outstanding issues except wages, which required the assistance of a mediator to reach a settlement acceptable to both parties.”

Mathews said the bargaining was “characterised by a spirit of mutual respect and collaboration,” adding “we’re very pleased with the end result, and we’re pleased that the settlement was ratified with such overwhelming support by the membership.”

READ ALSO: TWU faculty unionize with CLAC

CLAC Local 62 represents tenured and tenure-track faculty members, and sessional faculty members employed by TWU in undergraduate and graduate programs, including faculty librarians, assistant deans, department chairs, coordinators, and graduate program directors.

In 2021, 64 per cent of the faculty who cast a ballot voted to unionize, but a challenge by the university delayed certification by the B.C. Labour Relations Board (BCLRB) for a year-and-a-half.

Accordi9ng to a Board judgement, the university argued the application was “under-inclusive” because it didn’t include part-time staff, while the union said the part-time faculty “community of interests” were distinct from those faculty in the proposed bargaining unit.

In a June 30, 2023 decision, decision, the board ruled “a rational and defensible line may be drawn around the proposed bargaining unit.”

READ ALSO: New job at TWU: Working with youth is his calling

TWU, which describes itself as a global Christian liberal arts university, was established in 1962 and enrols more than 5,000 students, most attending the 157-acre main campus in Langley.

CLAC estimates the union represents more than 60,000 workers in almost every sector of the economy.

Dan Ferguson

About the Author: Dan Ferguson

Best recognized for my resemblance to St. Nick, I’m the guy you’ll often see out at community events and happenings around town.
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