On February 14, 2017, the Board of Governors approved the amendment of Policy #64 (Non-Performance of Work during a Legal Strike). This Policy was formerly called “Crossing of Picket Lines”.
The University employs over 15,000 faculty and staff comprised of both unionized and non-unionized employees. Arising out of labour negotiations, there is the possibility that one or more of the University’s unions may engage in legal strike activity.
The University’s collective agreements include provisions that specifically protect members from disciplinary actions if they refuse to cross a picket line. In striving for the equitable treatment of all its employees, UBC, through Policy #64, has historically extended the same right to refuse to cross a picket line to its non-unionized employees.
The primary amendment of Policy #64 is that it now identifies the exceptional circumstances in which the University may instruct members of AAPS and excluded Management and Professional employees to cross picket lines and attend work.
The three exceptional exceptions are:
- to comply with an Essential Services Order issued by the Labour Relations Board which requires certain employees to provide essential services;
- in facilities or departments where an Essential Services Order requires the University to utilize managers prior to utilizing unionized employees to perform the essential services; and
- to the extent necessary to maintain minimal operations or core services as described in the Policy.
The amendment of Policy #64 also provides guidance for the continuation of operations in academic and administrative units and clearly articulates the University’s expectations of employees in the event of a legal strike.
A copy of amended Policy #64 is available at https://universitycounsel.ubc.ca/files/2017/02/policy64.pdf.