Lethbridge College faculty ratify new contract

The new contract includes 3 years of wage freezes.

Last month, the Lethbridge College Faculty Association announced that their members had voted in favour of a new tentative collective agreement their bargaining team had negotiated with the college’s administration.

Faculty at Lethbridge College had been without a collective agreement since June 2020, when their previous agreement expired.

The new 4-year agreement comes with 3 years of wage freeze, followed by a 1.25% increase next month and a 1.5% increase at the end of the year.

As with several other public-sector collective agreements ratified throughout the province recently, it includes a potential 0.5% increase subject to a gain-sharing formula.

Between the years of 2000 and 2019, Alberta’s of real gross domestic product averaged 2.7%. If the average of all private forecasts for Alberta’s real GDP for the 2023 Calendar year is at or above 2.7% as of February 2024, then Lethbridge College faculty will get their 0.5% increase. It’ll be retroactively effective to 1 December 2023 and will be paid out in February or March of 2024.

The previous agreement also saw wage freezes, which means this will be 7 years straight of no wage increases for these instructors.

Keep in mind that inflation in Alberta between June 2018 and July 2022 was 14.7%.

The new agreement also contains several changes in language, compared to the previous agreement.

Negotiations on the new collective agreement began in October 2020.

Out of the 277 faculty association members who were eligible to participate in the ratification vote, 139 cast their vote, which is roughly half. Of those, 86.3% voted in favour of ratification.

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By Kim Siever

Kim Siever is an independent queer journalist based in Lethbridge, Alberta. He writes daily news articles, focusing on politics and labour.

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