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

Tracy Owen-Best with her husband, Larry Best. Tracy runs both the Nechako Barbershop and Hair Essentials Salon in Kitimat. Diagnosed with cancer in March 2020, she’s kept a positive mindset with the help from a supportive family. (Photo supplied)
In Our Valley: Tracy Owen-Best

Barbershop owner and cancer fighter keeps it positive

The Quesnel RCMP Detachment is one of seven northern police buildings which can now connect directly to Prince George for daily bail hearings. (Observer File Photo)
Bail hearings going virtual in B.C.’s north

A court pilot project will see virtual courtroom cameras set up in seven RCMP detatchments

FILE – Wet’suwet’en hereditary chiefs have agreed to sign a memorandum on rights and title with B.C. and Ottawa, but elected chiefs are demanding it be called off over lack of consultation. (Thom Barker photo)
Wet’suwet’en hereditary chiefs, Lake Babine Nation get provincial funding for land, title rights

Government says it’s a new, flexible model for future agreements between Canada, B.C. and First Nations.

The fence option chosen for the 461 Quatsino Boulevard development is the red lines that border the site plan. The fence will be roughly six feet high with the exception of the fence bordering Cranberry Street which will be eight feet high. (Boni Maddison Architects photo)
Fence to be erected between housing project and Kitimat homeowners

Residents of the Cranberry Street area are finally getting the fence they want

Rising demand for police to perform well-being checks and field calls for people struggling with domestic violence cases is driving the city to formulate a ‘situation table’ to connect vulnerable people with the services they need. (News Bulletin file photo)
Situation Table comes to Kitimat to support vulnerable people

Situation Tables identify and help vulnerable people in need.

In this image from NASA, NASA’s experimental Mars helicopter Ingenuity lands on the surface of Mars Monday, April 19, 2021. The little 4-pound helicopter rose from the dusty red surface into the thin Martian air Monday, achieving the first powered, controlled flight on another planet. (NASA via AP)
VIDEO: NASA’s Mars helicopter takes flight, 1st for another planet

The $85 million helicopter demo was considered high risk, yet high reward

New figures show Canadian housing prices outpacing those in other developed countries. (Black Press Media file photo)
Canadian housing prices fastest rising in the world

Relative to 2000, housing prices have risen by a factor of more than 2.5

Russ Ball (left) and some of the team show off the specimen after they were able to remove it Friday. Photo supplied
80-million-year-old turtle find on B.C. river exciting fossil hunters

Remains of two-foot creature of undetermined species will now make its home at the Royal BC Museum

Joudelie King wants to get out and live life to the fullest, but there are places she can’t go because they don’t meet her accessibility needs. (submitted photo)
New online tool provides accessibility map for people with disabilities

The myCommunity BC map provides accessibility info for nearly 1,000 locations in the province

British Columbia’s provincial flag flies in Ottawa, Friday July 3, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Wildfire fanned by winds near Merritt prompts evacuation alert

BC Wildfire Service says the suspected human-caused blaze was fanned by winds

The Rogers logo is photographed in Toronto on Monday, September 30, 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Tijana Martin
Rogers investigating after wireless customers complain of widespread outage

According to Down Detector, problems are being reported in most major Canadian cities

Flow Academy is located at 1511 Sutherland Avenue in Kelowna. (Michael Rodriguez - Capital News)
National fitness group condemns unlicensed Kelowna gym’s anti-vaccine policy

The Fitness Industry Council of Canada says Flow Academy is shining a negative light on the industry

People are shown at a COVID-19 vaccination site in Montreal, Sunday, April 18, 2021, as the COVID-19 pandemic continues in Canada and around the world. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graham Hughes
Nothing stopping provinces from offering AstraZeneca vaccine to all adults: Hajdu

Health Canada has licensed the AstraZeneca shot for use in people over the age of 18

Most Read