FAQs

People

Budget

Bargaining

People

How many people does Brock University employ?

The University employed 5,563 people in 2013 (number of T4s issued) and budgeted $199 million in personnel costs for the fiscal year 2013-14. Approximately 1,600 of these employees hold ongoing staff and faculty positions.

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Will any of these positions be eliminated?

At a town hall meeting on April 9, the University announced that a total of 86 staff positions have been identified to date for elimination from the 2014-15 operating budget.

Of those 86 positions, 40 have been vacated through attrition (voluntary resignations and retirements) or non-renewal of employment contracts, and nine staff redeployment opportunities have been identified.

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What steps have been taken to limit the impact on people who hold these positions?

The University reviewed all positions that became vacant in the past several months, and restructured administrative functions where possible. Where eliminating a vacant position was not possible, the University sought to fill them with qualified full-time staff whose own positions were to be eliminated. When a position could not be eliminated through attrition or redeployment, some staff members were subject to layoff.

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When will I know if my position has been eliminated?

The University will continue to review positions that are vacated through attrition, and where possible will redeploy qualified staff whose own positions have been affected. All employees holding an affected position will be informed as soon as possible and no later than April 30, 2014.

 

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Budget

How big is Brock University’s budget?

The University had an approved budget of $289.3M in 2013-14.

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What are the key components of the University’s budget?

Budgeted revenues of $274.8M in 2013-14 include student fees ($135M), grants ($91.9M) and other revenues ($47.9M).

Total operating expenses of $289.3M include personnel costs ($199M) and non-salary operating costs ($90.3M).

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What is the current deficit?

The University originally forecasted an operating deficit of $14.5M in 2013-14 and a budget deficit of $20M in 2014-15.

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How did we get here?

It was not one decision or item that brought about these deficits. A number of key factors exist today that did not exist a few years ago, such as:

  • annual pension payments ($5.8M);
  • utility, operating costs and debt payments related to the Cairns research complex ($4.8M);
  • deferred maintenance needs ($2.5M);
  • new commitments to transdisciplinary institutes ($1M);
  • and changes to government funding, such as the new tuition policy, operating grant reductions, international student tax and reduced property tax funding ($2.5M).
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What is our progress?

As of April 9, the University updated its budget forecast for 2013-14 based on mitigation efforts and is now forecasting a budget deficit of $7M (vs. the previous forecast of $14.5M). The University is currently forecasting a budget deficit of $5.7M (vs. the previous forecast of $20M) for 2014-15.

There is more work to be done before a final budget is presented to the Board of Trustees in June. Updates will be provided via this website.

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Bargaining

What is a collective agreement?

A collective agreement is a written contract of employment covering a group of employees who are represented by a trade union. This agreement contains provisions governing the terms and conditions of employment.

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What is collective bargaining?

Collective bargaining is a process in which a trade union and an employer negotiate a first collective agreement or the renewal of a previous collective agreement.

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Is Brock currently in collective bargaining with any employee groups?

Yes, Brock is currently negotiating renewal collective agreements with two unions:

  • CUPE, Local 4207-3 – Expired July 6, 2014 (Represents ESL Instructors);
  • OSSTF, District 35 – Will expire April 30, 2015 (Represents administrative and support staff)

Brock University and the IATSE, Local 461 (representing Stagehands in the Brock Centre for the Arts and the Marilyn I. Walker School of Fine and Performing Arts) ratified a three-year agreement for the period between June 6, 2014 and June 5, 2017.

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What happens if, during collective bargaining, the employer and the union cannot agree on the terms of a collective agreement?

Either the employer or the union may apply to the Ministry of Labour to appoint a conciliation officer. This officer will then try to help the parties reach an agreement.

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What is conciliation?

Conciliation is a process by which a union or an employer can apply to the Ministry of Labour for help in reaching a collective agreement.

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What if the employer and the union cannot reach agreement in conciliation?

The conciliation officer informs the Ministry of Labour that a collective agreement could not be reached. The Ministry of Labour then issues a notice informing the union and the employer that the Ministry “does not consider it advisable to appoint a conciliation board”. This notice is commonly known as the “no-board report”.

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Has a “no-board report” been requested, and what does it mean?

Yes, CUPE Local 4207-3 requested a “no-board report,” which was issued by the Ministry of Labour on Feb. 28, 2015.

Once a “no-board report” has been issued, a legal strike or lockout may occur on or after the 17th calendar day after the date on the “no-board report.”

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What further help is available to the employer and union after a “no-board report” gets issued?

If the parties have not reached a settlement in conciliation and the “no-board report” has been sent to the parties, the Ministry of Labour offers the services of a mediator to confer with the parties and try to reach a collective agreement.

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I heard that the Union has held a strike vote. What is a strike? What is a strike vote?

A strike is any cessation of work, including a work slowdown, resulting in an interruption of the employer’s operations by bargaining unit employees.

Bargaining unit members cannot lawfully strike unless a strike vote by secret ballot is taken by the Union and more than 50% of voting bargaining unit members vote in favour of a strike.  A successful strike vote authorizes the union’s representatives to set a strike deadline and call a strike if they believe that further negotiations will not reach a collective agreement.

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Has a strike deadline been set?

Yes, CUPE Local 4207-3 has set a strike deadline of March 17, 2015 at 12:01am.

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Does a strike deadline mean there will be a strike at the University?

No. The parties to a collective agreement may continue to negotiate and reach an agreement, despite the fact that a strike deadline has been set.

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