By Timothy Schafer – Trail Daily Times
Published: April 25, 2012 4:00 PM
The province’s net-zero mandate has touched the vocational instructors and faculty of Selkirk College as two West Kootenay unions received final ratification by the Post-Secondary Employers’ Association (PSEA) this week.
Two collective agreements with faculty and instructors of Selkirk College’s BCGEU Local 709 Vocational Instructors and the Selkirk College Faculty Association were reached under the B.C. government’s 2010 net-zero mandate.
But the two agreements signed are set to expire since they cover from March, 2010 to March 2012, said Selkirk College director of communications and development, Barry Auliffe.
“We are now in the process of starting negotiations on the next agreement,” he said.
According to the Ministry of Education, the colleges will now have more freedom to negotiate the finer points of the next agreement, said Auliffe, albeit with some restrictions, and it would ultimately have to be approved by the province.
“But we are able to sit down and talk about some of the more important issues with the employees,” he added.
The BCGEU has around 135 members with Selkirk, and around 195 in the faculty.
Following local ratification by the two unions, the PSEA board ratified each two-year agreement, which contains items that were agreed to at the PSEA common table in December 2011.
The agreements ratified by the PSEA board also covered Douglas College and the Douglas College Faculty Association, North Island College and the North Island College Faculty Association, and Okanagan College.
The five settlements are for approximately 1,800 faculty and vocational instructors working at four public post-secondary institutions throughout the province.
Collective agreements that expired in 2010 and 2011 continue to be reached under the 2010 net-zero mandate, even as a number of public sector employers and unions in the public service, health and community social service sectors have begun negotiations under the 2012 Cooperative Gains Mandate.