Collective bargaining in British Columbia's community colleges

Peter Colebrook
This study examines collective bargaining in 14 unionized community colleges in British Columbia. It provides a broad overview of bargaining in the colleges and insights into the tensions commonly associated with collective bargaining. The study combines qualitative data and quantitative data through the use of interviews, contractual analysis and two questionnaires. One survey examined the opinions of board members, senior administrators and faculty leaders on various aspects of collective
more » ... s of collective bargaining. The latter included the competitive characteristics of distributive bargaining, governance, the scope of the collective agreements and a number of proposed modifications aimed at improving bargaining in the colleges. The study is significant as it fills a void in the research related to the above issues in British Columbia's colleges. The literature review encompassed a wide range of research. This included material related to the evolution of collective bargaining in higher education; factors that influence opinions of bargaining; constructive conflict, destructive conflict and dysfunctional competition; conflict resolution techniques associated with bargaining; and integrative bargaining. The study revealed a competitive collective bargaining climate in the colleges, characterized by such factors as a lack of trust and respect, inexperienced faculty negotiators, contractual constraints and a lack of bargaining priorities. The competitive climate was aggravated by a number of external factors (government policies); internal factors (the management style of a president); the composition of the faculty associations (combined vocational and academic faculty associations); and personal factors (age and political preferences). In terms of governance issues, the scope of the collective agreements and their political orientation, the board members and the senior administrators are essentially from the same population. The faculty leaders come from a different population. The respondents favour modifications that wou [...]
doi:10.14288/1.0064640 fatcat:46cgqp4vxjbfnnnu7k7ztsowsy