Fonds RBSC-ARC-1021 - Association of University and College Employees (AUCE) fonds

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Title and statement of responsibility area

Title proper

Association of University and College Employees (AUCE) fonds

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  • Multiple media

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Physical description

4.5 metres of textual records and other material

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Administrative history

In 1973 library and clerical workers on university and college campuses across British Columbia began organizing as a union in order to represent their collective interests. Workers at University of British Columbia (Local 1), Simon Fraser University (Local 2), Notre Dame University of Nelson (Local 3), Capilano College (Local 4), College of New Caledonia (Local 5), and the Teaching Support Staff at S.F.U. (Local 6) organized over the next two years to collectively form the provincial wide and independent union, the Association of University and College Employees (AUCE).

When the union formed over ninety percent of its members were women and one of their top concerns was equal pay for what was at the time considered “women’s work”. Over the next decade, they fought for wages to match the rising cost of living, transparent job classifications, maternity leave, childcare, and other employee benefits. They also demanded a discrimination free workplace for people of all genders, sexualities, races, and ethnicities.

The AUCE operated as a democratic union with an elected executive, and held yearly conventions to address the needs of its members. Each local chapter worked individually with their university to bargain for collective contracts for their members. The negotiations of changes in collective contracts between the university and the union members sometimes resulted in the workers going on strike until a collective agreement could be reached. In addition to contract negotiations, the AUCE also supported other union, labour, and human rights efforts, especially in response to the changing legislation and budget seen in the British Columbia government from the 1970’s to 1980’s.

For various reasons, including the increased resources and support offered by international and national unions, in 1985 a decision was made by the members to disband the AUCE. For the Local 1 workers on the University of British Columbia campus, this resulted in a two year trial affiliation with the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE). During this time the union members voted to call themselves the Canadian University Employees (CUE) in order to distinguish themselves from two other local CUPE chapters on campus. In 1987 the members voted to become a chartered local union of the CUPE, CUPE Local 2950. They are an operating local chapter today.

Custodial history

Scope and content

The fonds consists of records related to the Association of University and College Employees' (AUCE's) provincial and local chapters activities, efforts, publications, and ephemera. Records span the Provincial and local unions' initial accreditation in 1973, to the Provincial union disbanding in 1985, and then follow the Local 1 (University of British Columbia) chapter through to its merger with CUPE in 1985 and forward into the late 2000's. The fonds is comprised of the following series: Executive, Advocacy and Bargaining, Committees, AUCE Local Chapters, Correspondence and Related Material, and Photographs, Publications, News Clippings and Ephemera.

Executive series: contains records relating to the executive functioning of the provincial union and Local 1 union chapters. Record types include union constitutions, by-laws, and amendments, minutes and agendas of executive meetings, and executive correspondence.

Advocacy and Bargaining series: comprised of records relating to the unions' efforts to advocate on behalf of their members and bargain as a collective unit. Record types include dockets, agendas, and minutes of Annual Conventions and Special Conventions, as well as minutes of the meetings of the General Membership, records pertaining to collective agreements between the workers and employers, including union contracts, and records following strikes, working conditions, and specific efforts that the AUCE and Local 1 undertook in response to provincial governmental and administrative changes.

Committees series: contains records related to the Local 1 and AUCE committees, including the Strike Committee, Contract Committee, Provincial Health and Safety Committee, Provincial Affiliation Committee, Communications Committee, Parking Fee Committee, Grievance Committee, and Merger Committee. Record types include meeting agendas, minutes, newsletters and correspondence, as well as related reports and materials interfiled with committee records.

AUCE Local Chapters Series: consists of records related to chapters 2 through 6 of the AUCE. The records feature the activities of the local chapters of Local 2, at Simon Fraser University (SFU), Local 3, at Notre Dame University of Nelson, Local 4, at Capilano College, Local 5, at College of New Caledonia, and Local 6, Teaching Support Staff at SFU (TSSU). Record types include meeting agendas, minutes, correspondence, contracts, and records related to local chapter strikes and contract negotiations, as well as secession from AUCE.

Correspondence and Related Material Series: consists of incoming and outgoing correspondence of AUCE Local 1, as well as related materials interfiled with correspondence. Record types primarily consist of letters, though some other materials such as minutes and agendas of meetings are present.

Finally, the Photographs, Publications, News Clippings, and Ephemera series features photographs, slides, third party publications, news clippings, scrapbooks, pins, posters, and other ephemera documenting current events, legislation affecting the union and its members, as well as provincial and local union strikes, protests and rallies.

Notes area

Physical condition

Materials are in generally very good condition. Some textual records are permanently folded but still legible. Some records also contained rusted inorganic material (e.g. staples and paperclips) which have been removed by the archivist. Many staples and paperclips inevitably remain and should be removed in the future for preservation.

Immediate source of acquisition

All records have been acquired from CUPE 2950.


The fonds comprises two accessions, the first of which was donated in 1985. This accession spans boxes 1-10; see attached finding aid for further information. The second accession (an accrual) was donated in 2017. Where established, the archivist has attempted to preserve the original order and file titles of the records. Some loose files, records in disarray, and unnamed files have been rearranged and described according to the intellectual arrangement described above. Throughout the fonds, Local 1 records and AUCE Provincial records are interfiled. After the AUCE's dissolution in 1985, members of the Local 1 UBC chapter voted to enter a two year interim contract with the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE). During this time they were known as the Canadian University of Employees (CUE). In 1987 CUE officially became a local chapter, CUPE local 2950, and it is the creating body of all records post 1987. In order to reflect these differences, the name of the creating body is noted in the file title or in the scope and content note.

Language of material

  • English
  • French

Script of material

Location of originals

Availability of other formats

Restrictions on access

Researchers must complete the RBSC Research Agreement to access material in the fonds. Additional restrictions apply to select files in the Committee series, which are closed until 2086. Permission to access the closed files may be obtained from CUPE 2950. See archivist for details.

Terms governing use, reproduction, and publication

Permission to reproduce copyrighted materials must be obtained from the copyright holder(s).

Finding aids

Associated materials

The Library fonds, held by UBC University Archives contains files on A.U.C.E. created and collected by the Library, including information on contract negotiations.


Further accruals are expected.

General note

Photograph identifiers: RBSC-ARC-1021-PH-01 to 1142.


The archivist has attempted to remove all rusting inorganic materials from the fonds, but some undoubtedly remain.


News paper copies and news-clippings remain stored with the textual files, separated by envelope, and should be photocopied for preservation when possible.

Physical description

Includes 793 photographs : b&w and col., 199 negatives : b&w and col., 37 slides, 1 audio cassette, 23 pins.

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The first accession of AUCE Local 1 records was arranged and described by RBSC staff in 1986.
The subsequent accrual was arranged and described by Claire Williams in September 2017.

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