Union representatives from universities in Ontario, known as “fly-in pickets” joined UNBC faculty in their strike efforts in Terrace on Nov. 22. (Brittany Gervais/Terrace Standard)

Union representatives from universities in Ontario, known as “fly-in pickets” joined UNBC faculty in their strike efforts in Terrace on Nov. 22. (Brittany Gervais/Terrace Standard)

Classes resume at UNBC as strike action stops

The union has filed a bad faith bargaining complaint against university

Students at the University of Northern British Columbia (UNBC) are back in class today Dec. 2, though no deal has been reached between faculty and the administration.

In a statement posted last Friday afternoon on the faculty union’s website, the association has filed a complaint of bad faith bargaining against the university’s administration with the provincial Labour Relations Board (LRB).

The move comes after the province appointed special mediator Trevor Sones of the LRB to try and bring an end to the three-week strike. UNBC faculty chief negotiator Ted Binnema says although they were willing to continue negotiations, the mediator decided to call for an adjournment.

“Considering that fact along with the reality that our students’ semester hangs in the balance, the UNBC FA has decided to suspend picketing at 4:30 this afternoon [Nov. 29] so that the semester can continue while the LRB is hearing our bad-faith bargaining complaint,” Binnema wrote in the most recent statement.

READ MORE: Anxiety mounts as UNBC faculty strike continues

However, the faculty’s job action efforts will continue until an agreement is reached, the association says. The union, which represents faculty members, librarians, lab instructors and sessional instructors has been on strike since Nov. 7 at the Terrace and Prince George campuses.

“At this time, the UNBC FA will limit job action to the withdrawal of internal university service work, except for service to the UNBC Senate and UNBC Board of Governors.”

The UNBC FA expected to update members further after meetings taking place Saturday, Nov. 30.

On the university’s website, the UNBC President Daniel Weeks writes the administration has acknowledged the faculty association’s decision to file the claim with the LRB, and will present their position to the board.

“The special mediator has indicated he will be in touch with us in the coming days and we look forward to his input in helping us achieve a negotiated settlement,” Weeks writes.

In the meantime, he says he’s happy to see the pickets come down.

“The University community will do all we can to welcome students back to our campuses and support them as they finish this semester.”

On Nov. 25, university administrators also announced it is working on a non-refundable financial credit to students who have been out of class since the strike by faculty began earlier this month.

A post on the university’s website says the value of the credit depends on the length of the strike, and that that will be determined once a new contract is reached.

READ MORE: UNBC offers credit, other options as faculty strike continues

with files from Canadian Press


 


brittany@terracestandard.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

The Bella Coola RCMP are investigating the cause of the fire (Caitlin Thompson photo)
RCMP investigating Bay Motor Hotel fire

Anyone with information is asked to call Bella Coola RCMP 250 799 5363 or Crimestoppers

Phillip Tallio was just 17 when he was convicted of murder in 1983 (file photo)
Miscarriage of justice before Phillip Tallio’s 1983 guilty plea in girl’s murder: lawyer

Tallio was 17 when he pleaded guilty to second-degree murder in the death of his 22-month-old cousin

A third-party crew cut the Telus fiber line on Tuesday, Nov. 17, resulting in a nearly 24hr communications blackout for the Valley (Black Press Media)
Recent outage highlights vulnerabilites in local communication infrastructure

A third-party crew accidentally severed the cable on Highway 20, resulting in a valley-wide communications outage

The Bay Hotel burned to the ground last night (Christina Hoppe photo)
Bay Hotel burns to the ground in early morning fire

The building was abandoned and had been falling apart for years

FILE – British Columbia provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry wears a face mask as she views the Murals of Gratitude exhibition in Vancouver, on Friday, July 3, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Masks now mandatory in all public indoor and retail spaces in B.C.

Many retailers and businesses had voiced their frustration with a lack of mask mandate before

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry updates B.C.’s COVID-19 situation at the B.C. legislature, Nov. 23, 2020. (B.C. government)
B.C. daily COVID-19 cases hits record 941 on Tuesday

Further restrictions on indoor exercise take effect

(Pixabay.com)
Man, 28, warned by Kootenay police to stop asking people to marry him

A woman initially reported the incident to police before they discovered others had been popped the question

Winston Blackmore (left) and James Oler (right) were sentenced on separate charges of polygamy this week in Cranbrook Supreme Court.
No more charges expected in Bountiful investigation, special prosecutor says

Special prosecutor says mandate has ended following review of evidence from Bountiful investigations

(Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Refuse to follow B.C.’s mask mandate? Face a $230 fine

Masks are now required to be worn by all British Columbians, 12 years and older

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good
Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

BC Teachers' Federation President Teri Mooring is asking parents of school-aged children to encourage the wearing of masks when possible in schools. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito)
LETTER: Teachers union encourages culture of mask wearing in B.C. schools

BCTF President Teri Mooring asks parents to talk with children about wearing masks in school

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau speak to the media about the COVID-19 virus outside Rideau Cottage in Ottawa, Friday, Nov. 20, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Canada’s inability to manufacture vaccines in-house will delay distribution: Trudeau

First doses of COVID-19 vaccine expected in first few months of 2021, prime minister says

Pamela Wright, a UNBC professor in the department of ecosystem science and management, is presented with the Mitacs Award for Exceptional Leadership - Professor, at a virtual ceremony today (Nov. 24) in recognition of her collaborative work with community partners and students to conserve Canada’s northern lands. (Photo submitted by Mitacs)
UNBC professor receives prestigious conservation award

Pamela Wright recognized for leadership in ‘breakthrough’ work on northern issues

Most Read