January 25, 2024

Bargaining Committee Update

Your bargaining committee met on Jan. 23, 2024, to continue working on our proposals to NAIT for upgrades and improvements to our Collective Agreement.

When Will Bargaining Start?

We are currently waiting for dates for bargaining from NAIT. The bargaining committee has indicated to NAIT that it is fully committed to availability for bargaining sessions during evenings and weekends in April, May, June, and throughout the summer months.

The bargaining process is time consuming, and as a first-time participant, I have been really impressed that so many members have been willing to step up and volunteer their time away from families in order to give their areas fair representation. The committee meetings have been educational to all of us in terms of the concerns of different areas around NAIT. We have been surprised by how unified both the survey respondents and our committee members are about the core issues – wages, workload, and job security – those are the priorities!

We have a goal to share as much as possible with you all during negotiations. While some union negotiations operate behind closed doors, our plan to be up front with you about what’s happening at the table, what’s being proposed, and what is being counter-proposed. We have told NAIT that we will be allowing NASA members to come and observe the proceedings. This follows from the 2022 post-bargaining survey where 62% of NASA members responding said they want to attend at least one session as an observer. We know this will be a good move for the NAIT community overall. It will demystify the process where your future working conditions are decided.

Workload Issues

There is a strong consensus from committee members who are in programs across the institution that workloads have risen over the past decade. Everyone has seen a shift toward a higher workload.

We are seeing increased burdens on instructors from additional administrative demands and mandatory training sessions, increased class sizes, issues that require a timely response, like academic integrity and the rapid change in technology, demands for academic staff in some or all areas to complete scholarly activity, and an increased percentage of international students in classes. The pressure on Curriculum & Instructional Specialists, Librarians and Counsellors has also risen. The committee will be arguing for decreases in SIHs, as well as strengthening the language around workload allocation and work hours to acknowledge the complexities of the jobs that we are doing.

We will be suggesting measures for NAIT to get more organized in terms of how it manages the workload allocation process, and the revised language in the proposals should provide additional clarity around workload reviews.

What if I Have a Workload Issue before We Reach an Agreement?

For Instructors, if you receive your teaching assignment for upcoming sessions or a change to that assignment, and you feel that you cannot do your assigned work, including teaching, marking, and prep within 36.25 hours per week, we strongly encourage you to reach out to Trevor to talk about filing a workload review. I requested one in late August/early September, and with some discussion, NAIT agreed to a more reasonable workload. We now have a method in place to make the workload appeal process even easier, so I strongly encourage my fellow staff members to hold NAIT to account in terms of work hours.

Thank you for reading my update! I’m really looking forward to future bargaining committee meetings – it has been fantastic to spend time with like-minded people and get a better understanding of how things are working in other schools.

p.s. Please remember to provide NASA with your personal email and phone number at this link. As bargaining progresses we will need to provide communications outside of NAIT’s systems.


NASA’s Bargaining Committee