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Classes to resume at UNBC on Monday as picket lines come down

UNBC students will be back in the classroom Monday morning.

After more than three weeks on strike, the UNBC Faculty Association took down its picket lines Friday afternoon. the move comes after two days of talks with special mediator Trevor Sones. The Faculty Association, which has accused the university of bargaining in bad faith, will now take that complaint with the Labour Relations Board.

While the picket lines have come down, job action will continue in the form of withdrawal of internal committee service, excepting Senate and the Board of Governors.

“We are disappointed that we have to take we have to take this complaint to the board,” said Paul Siakaluk, vice president of the faculty association, in a news release. “We hoped that the presence of the special mediator and the legal counsel for both parties would lead to a quick resolution of this issue. Unfortunately, that didn’t happen.”

At issue, according to the association, is its contention the UNBC offer would allow it to break contracts with some of its members who fall outside the collective agreement. Since those contracts are between the individual and the employer, the association says agreeing to the provision could put the union in legal jeopardy and financial risk.

The association offered to continue bargaining while the LRB application is heard, however, Sones adjourned the talks.

“We recognize that it might take a considerable amount of time for the LRB to consider our application,” said Siakaluk. “Meanwhile our students’ semester hangs in the balance. We have been dismayed at the needless delays in bargaining, and now we find ourselves unable to bargain until the LRB hears our complaint.”

For students with scheduled classes or clinical/practicum hours on Saturday November 30, 2019 or Sunday December 1, 2019, please check with your instructor or placement coordinator/supervisor as soon as possible regarding returning to regular arrangements.

A special meeting of Senate has been called for Monday, December 2, at 3:30 pm in the Senate Chambers to consider removal of the exam period and alternate arrangements for evaluation and completion of courses and academic requirements for the September semester. 

While we still have not achieved a negotiated agreement, I am grateful to Faculty for this decision, happy to welcome our students back to classes and looking forward to supporting the successful semester completion.

“While we still have not achieved a negotiated agreement, I am grateful to faculty for this decision, happy to welcome our students back to classes and looking forward to supporting the successful semester completion,” said Dr. Dan Ryan, Provost and Vice-President Academic, in a posting on the university’s website.

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