Faculty Rights: Collective Agreement & Common Agreement

The rights and duties of faculty as employees of Capilano University are mainly found in our Collective Agreement and the letters of agreement attached to it (see link below). Some of our rights are set out in a document called the Common Agreement (also below).

The Collective Agreement is specific to Capilano University and the CFA. It is the agreement that the CFA negotiates on behalf of all teaching faculty at Capilano. It is the first place you should look if you have questions. But you should also feel free to talk to your area steward with questions, or write to the chief steward and assistant chief steward. Here is the current version of the Collective Agreement:

As noted above, there is also a Common Agreement that the CFA’s provincial umbrella union, FPSE, negotiates on behalf of several colleges. The terms of this Common Agreement also apply to Capilano University faculty, except to the extent that our Collective Agreement overrides or modifies them (see the Letter of Intent at page 156 of our agreement). Our collective agreement does replace most of the terms in the Common Agreement, except for certain benefits, for which we rely on the Common Agreement. In most of the cases in which the common agreement is relevant to us, our Collective Agreement specifically incorporates terms from the Common Agreement, so you probably do not need to refer to the Common Agreement unless our agreement directs you to it. Here is the current version of the Common Agreement:

Our agreement also refers to certain provisions of the previous Common Agreement, from 2010-12. (Contact the chief steward for specifics.)

Changes between the 2010-14 and 2014-19 agreements

At the conclusion of the negotiation of the new collective agreement, the union signed a Memorandum of Agreement with Capilano University on May 23, 2015.

That memorandum (linked above) sets out all the changes to the previous agreement. For highlights, see the final negotiating bulletin from 2015. To see the new salary scales, which incorporate a raise of 5.5% by the end of the 2018-19 year, see page 5 of the memorandum.

The memorandum also established four joint committees (representatives from CFA and the administration) to negotiate about four distinct issues (see below for updates on their work):

  • Regularization
  • Paid-Educational Leave
  • Librarian concerns
  • Effects of the University’s shift to scheduling of courses over three terms, rather than two (aka. the "10-month committee").


In spring 2016 the joint committee on regularization reached an agreement on a question of interpretation of the existing agreement’s rules. The question affected two rules: one for triggering regularization of non-regulars, and one for “top-up” of regular part-time faculty to a higher number of regular sections. The agreement removed a “base-section limitation” barrier that was preventing regularization or top-up when the department’s total number of regular sections would, as a result, be higher than its “base number”. The base number of sections is an amount of sections that the administration cannot remove from a department without consulting the department.

This regularization agreement is short, but can be confusing to understand. If you are ever unsure about your eligibility for regularization or top-up, please contact your steward or the chief steward. For those interested in more details: The spring 2016 agreement confirmed that the base section limitation does not apply to the following:

  • Three-year regularization: Article sets out a “three-year” rule for regularizations that don’t fit into the usual two-year procedure. This rule helps non-regular employees whose work is spread over three terms, or whose workload is not assured for the following year. If an employee averages four courses over three terms for three years in a row, the employee is regularized at the average workload level, rounded down (so if the average is 5.5, the employee becomes an RP5).
  • Top-up: Regular part-time employees who work more than their part-time commitment level over two terms for two years in a row automatically increase (“top up”) their regularization level to the average number of sections they have been teaching, rounded down (so an RP4 averaging 6.5 sections becomes an RP6). 

Due to the new changes, three-year regularizations and top-ups are allowed even if the department will as a result have more regular sections than its “base section” total.

Leaving aside the agreement made in 2016, non-regular faculty may want to review this document, prepared in 2012: A Brief Guide to Your Rights under the Collective Agreement for Non-Regulars.

Paid educational leave (PEL)

The PEL joint committee was unable to reach agreement on changes to the Collective Agreement. There were a number of proposals from each side, including changes to the composition of the review committee. For members, the most significant proposal the committee discussed was to split paid educational leaves into two categories: some that are based on “merit plus seniority”, and some that are based on merit alone. It is the latter category that would be new. Under the collective agreement, the PEL committee reviews all applications based merit plus seniority (though all applications go through an initial screening for merit before the final review for merit plus seniority).

For paid-ed leaves in the 2017-18 year, the CFA and university administration agreed to do a trial run of the two-category system. The committee approved three leaves in each of the two categories, for six in total.

However, the union and administration were unable to agree on a new system for PEL review. Therefore, for leaves taken in 2017-18, we are following the existing system. Applications were due in May 2017, with the committee reviewing them all based on “merit plus seniority.”

We can revisit this issue in 2018-19, when we negotiate the new Collective Agreement.

Librarian issues

This committee is continuing to discuss issues such as scale placement and job description. It has not yet reached agreement on any changes to the Collective Agreement.

Three-term (a.k.a. “ten-month”) committee

A number of rules in the Collective Agreement are based on the premise that the teaching year is over two terms: fall and spring. With the rise of courses in the May-June summer term over the past decade, there is a need to modify some of these rules. (An example of such a rule is the top-up rule in article 11.7.3: top-up is based on teaching in two terms only each year. Other issues are PD scheduling and vacation.) This joint committee is still in discussions about the various issues related to three terms.

Contact the chief steward, Michael Begg, if you have specific questions about the collective or common agreement.