Bargaining Survey: Job Security and Workload

The role of the BC Liberal Provincial Government in public sector bargaining remains large. Their insistence on “core reviews” across all post secondary institutions that identify areas where “shared services” might be implemented has put your employment in jeopardy.

Meanwhile, funding for post secondary education continues to be restrained or cut, budget after budget. This reality, along with last year’s unprecedented layoffs has many of us on edge, and that came out very clearly in the bargaining survey results.

Nearly three quarters of our members (73%) say they or their department has been impacted by budget cuts. Most common impacts are employees having their positions eliminated (39%) and vacant positions not being filled (38%).
Almost 80% fear further budget cuts from the core review and shared service agreements; 73% fear more positions will be eliminated. Many of the additional comments showed concern for how cuts have already affected service to students and the community.

“The overarching worry is that 2015 will bring more cuts as our faculty is building a shared service model and we are still unsure how this will affect our jobs long term. Most feel that it makes us sitting ducks for position elimination once shared service models are in full force.”

Changes in duties were reported by 75% of respondents and 62% have seen a change in procedures. While technological change has accounted for many of the additional duties; members also reported they are having to pick up duties and workload from unfilled positions or as the result of department mergers.
Increased workload, experienced by 67% of our members means many are working through their breaks (66%) and sadly that many are feeling health impacts (48%) due to the increase.

There was an even split between those who raised the issue and those who didn’t with slightly more of those who raised it with supervisors or managers receiving a positive response (65%) than negative. More troubling, among those who received a negative response, very few approached their union (15%).

“We (support staff) are having to do more and more with less and less, while enrollment continues to climb – pushed by the government and university. Yes, technology has streamlined some aspects of work here, but it has also dramatically increased our workload (email alone!). Many staff feel at the breaking point of workload.”

Rampant organizational change, increased workloads and attacks on job security are the biggest threats Union members have faced and your Negotiating Committee will be taking forward proposals at bargaining to seek greater protection for the future.