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UNBC faculty say university has presented 'unlawful' demands as strike action continues

Both sides now awaiting recommendations from appointed mediator
UNBC Students rallied on the Prince George Campus to support faculty and have their voices heard. (via Hanna Petersen)

It's been more than three weeks, but there's still no deal. 

After B.C. Labour Minister Harry Bains announced an appointed mediator Tuesday (Nov. 26) to try and close the gap between the UNBC Faculty Association (UNBCFA) and UNBC after the provincial government was called to act, it appears there hasn't been much movement. 

Trevor Sones was tapped as the man who would try and help the two sides find common ground with the strike entering into its third week. 

Both sides issued new statements with the university releasing news the mediator adjourned the process between the two sides after "extensive bargaining periods" that began Wednesday afternoon (Nov. 27) and went late into the evenings on Wednesday and Thursday (Nov. 28). 

"The special mediator has indicated he will be in touch with the parties over the next few days to discuss options moving forward," the statement concludes. 

The UNBCFA released a statement this morning (Nov. 29), pointing specifically to saying the employer's demand was "unlawful" after seeking multiple avenues of legal advice.

"As we have told you previously, both our own counsel and a second independent legal opinion confirmed that the Employer's demand was unlawful," the update reads. 

"Both parties had counsel present yesterday, providing the opportunity for the lawyers to discuss matters. Late yesterday, the Employer finally presented another proposal, although the new proposal appears to be similarly unlawful. As a result, no agreement could be reached, and the meeting adjourned late yesterday evening."

The faculty added there was some positive news to report from the last two days, however.

The statement says the university agreed to remove and sign off nine articles from the package offer they presented in the last two days. 

"We had converged on those issues even before the mediator arrived, but we do welcome being able actually to conclude those articles. Only eight articles remain to be negotiated." 

The UNBCFA also added it also is awaiting word from Sones on what the next steps are going forward. 


Jess Fedigan

About the Author: Jess Fedigan

Jess Fedigan graduated from BCIT’s Broadcast and Online Journalism program in 2016 and comes from the Lower Mainland.
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