Bargaining could resume as early next week for UNBC faculty members seeking a new collective agreement.
But until details have been finalized to schedule negotiations with UNBC administration and the B.C. Post Secondary Employers' Association, UNBC Faculty Association president Jacqueline Holler said she does not know when negotiations will begin again and is not prepared to reveal what the faculty will be seeking in its new collective agreement.
But it is certain wages will be on top of the agenda.
"We are in the process of selecting arbitration dates and that kind of thing and it's all new to us, but normal collective bargaining is proceeding," said Holler, an associate professor at UNBC and chair of the history department.
"Arbitrators are very busy people and this process of hammering out dates, it's normal for it to take time."
Negotiations that began last spring ground to a halt once non-monetary issues were settled in October. In November, the union filed for salary arbitration, the first time an arbitrator has been dragged into any contract negotiations in UNBC's 17-year history.
The faculty association represents about non-unionized 450 members, including 176 tenured faculty instructors and 204 part-time faculty, as well as lab instructors, librarians and contract employees. Their two-year contract expired on June 30, 2012.
UNBC faculty members have publicly stated their dissatisfaction with their pay, which they say rank them near the bottom as compared with salaries of their counterparts at other similar-sized universities in Canada. Some have warned unless salaries become more competitive, UNBC will have difficulties retaining its instructors.
In 2010-11, the average salaries for full-time teachers at UNBC ranged from $105,496 for a full professor, $83,575 for an associate professor, and $71,319 for an assistant professor. By comparison, the University of Lethbridge averaged $143,502 for a full professor, $110,084 for an associate professor, and $83,609 for an assistant professor.