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

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 Association (FA) 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.”

On the university’s website, 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

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

Just Posted

School District 82’s first week of in-person class is in the books

First classes held since schools closed March 17 due to COVID-19 pandemic

Skeena Valley Farmers Market looks to reopen

Market switched to online format earlier this year in response to pandemic

Two per cent hotel tax coming to Terrace and Thornhill

Tax comes into effect on Sept. 1, will support Kermodei Tourism

‘Busier than we’ve ever seen’: Mountain biking around Terrace jumps

Terrace Off Road Cycling Association opened new trails on June 2

‘I’m pissed, I’m outraged’: Federal minister calls out police violence against Indigenous people

Indigenous Minister Marc Miller spoke on recent incidents, including fatal shooting of a B.C. woman

Facing changes together: your community, your journalists

The COVID-19 pandemic has changed the world in ways that would have… Continue reading

Kelowna Mountie who punched suspect identified, condemned by sister

‘How did he get away with this? How is this justifiable?’

PHOTOS: Anti-racism protesters gather in communities across B.C.

More protests are expected through the weekend

Pair accused of ‘horrific’ assault at Vancouver’s Oppenheimer Park at large

Police say Jason Tapp, 30, and Nicole Edwards, 33, did not show up to meet their bail supervisor this week

No charges to be laid against 22 northern B.C. pipeline protesters

Twenty-two people were arrested in February, but Crown has decided not to pursue charges

‘Great Regional Air Hug’ being organized by the Vanderhoof International Airshow Society

A multi-aircraft flyover over the region is being planned for August 15.

Plan in place for BC Ferries to start increasing service levels

Ferry corporation reaches temporary service level agreement with province

Most Read