College instructors' April 1 increase to be 4.4 per cent for top step rate, Korbin rules

June 8, 2006

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Arbitrator Judi Korbin has found that college instructors who are members of the BCGEU will receive a 4.4 per cent increase effective April 1, 2006 on the top step of the wage scale, thereby resolving a dispute between the union and employers about the April 1 pay rate.

The language negotiated in the current contract provided for a wage increase April 1 of 1.5 per cent or the total wage compensation negotiated by BCGEU in the public service agreement, whichever was greater. While the two sides agreed that the $0.63 per hour increase in the first year of the public service agreement was higher than 1.5 per cent, the union and employer disagreed on the actual amount.

Mediation efforts in late May failed to produce a resolution, so the parties turned to arbitrator Korbin for a resolution.

In her ruling, Korbin determined that the $0.63 per hour boost is equivalent to a two per cent increase for college instructors. In effect, the two per cent applied to the top of the wage scale translates into a 4.4 per cent pay hike retroactive to April 1.

"Korbin's award resolves an important outstanding issue," says Danny Bradford, chairperson of both the BCGEU Instructors Provincial Bargaining Committee and Component 7. "It clears the tracks so that we can focus on negotiating a new contract with employers - and that means we need to begin preparations to bargain right now."

For the purposes of secondary scales, Korbin says the annual increase for a full time instructor will be $1,310.

The Federation of Post Secondary Educators was granted status at the Korbin arbitration, and FPSE members are covered by the ruling.