LSU staff paid up to 30 per cent higher than peers

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Langara Students' Union logo

Langara Students’ Union employees are entitled to full benefits and salary even if they’re sent to jail, according to a collective bargaining agreement (CBA) obtained by The Voice which the LSU has repeatedly refused to release.

The agreement, negotiated between the LSU and Canadian Union of Public Employees Local 15 (CUPE,) outlines the conditions of work agreed to by the employers and the employee.

CBA details and benefits

According to the agreement, the current wage for full-time LSU staff is $30 an hour — which increased from $26.30 in 2007 due to a cost-of-living allowance and other adjustments. Sessional staff wage rates began at $16 an hour in December 2007 and are now at $18.40.

LSU staff are entitled to a buffet of medical benefits: full coverage of B.C. medical services plan, along with extended health care and dental are all provided, with coverage extending to the whole family.

With regards to non-medical benefits, staff enjoy full life insurance paid for by the LSU with coverage of one-and-a-half times their salary, a 10.5 per-cent contribution of the annual regular staff payroll into a registered retirement savings plan and five weeks’ paid leave if their spouse gives birth.

The agreement also has a provision granting leave without pay for any member sent to jail for a maximum of two years. The document specifies that if this incarceration comes as a result of action taken at the request of the LSU, the member will receive full pay, benefits, and not lose seniority while in jail.

To put some perspective to the LSU’s wages, Statistics Canada reports that the average wage for administrative occupations is $21.87.

Media and information blackout without legal foot to stand on

Both the CUPE Local 15 liaison and LSU media liaison declined to speak on the matter, with the former claiming an information “blackout” due to upcoming negotiations.

Larry Page, a Vancouver labour lawyer with Davis LLP, dismissed the LSU’s claim.

“Collective agreements are public and they are required to be filed with the Labour Relations Board of B.C.,” said Page. “Maybe the student union didn’t know that it was required to file the collective agreement with the LRB.”

Langara students weigh in on the issue

Rob Derman, a human kinetics student, didn’t have any objections to the wages and compensation enjoyed by LSU staff.

“It’s pretty sweet,” Derman said. “It’s right on par with what I get at my job with the city of Coquitlam.”

Christine Chan, an arts student, wasn’t sure if the wage justified the work done.

“It seems pretty high,” Chan said. “I’m not sure what they do so they might deserve it.”

Reported by Sam Reynolds

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4 Comments

  1. Actually I work for a Unionized organization and get paid more than this. I highly recommend you take a look at other institutions collective bargaining agreement before you bash them, you will realize that your lsu staff get paid less that the ones at Cap, Douglas and other institutions. I would love to see you write about the Collective Barging contract with the College staff I believe that is where students money is actually being over used!

  2. Sam Reynolds says:

    Hi Jane

    I’m the reporter that wrote the piece. Yes, LSU staff get paid slightly less (though really marginally) than their counterparts at Cap and Douglas. But that’s not the point: they get paid alot more than their counterparts in the private sector/non unionized jobs.

    Langara students don’t pay the salaries of Cap and Douglas staffers. It’s important that Langara students know how much the employees of their organization make and if they are getting their money’s worth.

    Secondly, you should note that the CBA with the college staff is out in the open and available for anyone to see on the LRB’s website. The CBA with the LSU had to be ‘obtained’ because they don’t make it available to the public like they are supposed to.

  3. Hi Sam,

    I want to know where did you get your information about the wages. sometimes I work in LSU and i do not get paid nearly close to what you mentioned..So, i want to know how accurate your info are so i can talk to them and get paid fairly..Aside from all this, I really believe LSU can perform a little better. They are disorganized, like any union out there.

  4. I work part-time in campus (under CUPE 15) and I don’t get close to $15 an hour. In response to Jane’s claim that LSU staff gets paid less… When compared with the things they do, its definitely way more than our money’s worth. If you take a moment to visit their office, they are nowhere near “friendly to students”. I’ve been there a couple of times and I can honestly say, you’re lucky if they welcome you with a smile. Also, they don’t do work because there’s “someone high up” who is controlling all the langara students that works there. They also make last minute announcements on a FREQUENTLY basis. Say if I live in New Westminister, there’s no way I can get to campus in 15 MINUTES for their “so-called meetings/events”.