OCUFA President Rahul Sapra has written a letter to the Board of Governors Chair and President at the University of Northern British Columbia expressing OCUFA’s support for the faculty currently striking at UNBC.
Dear Ms. Ongman,
I am writing today, on behalf of 17,000 university faculty and academic librarians at our 30 member associations, to implore you to return to the table and negotiate a collective agreement in good faith with the UNBC Faculty Association. It is also time for the Board of Governors to exercise some leadership in moving beyond the toxic labour relations environment that has plagued UNBC in recent years.
Faculty at UNBC are consistently faced with an administration that is openly hostile to faculty and regularly misunderstands and insults the role of faculty at a research university. Two strikes in less than five years speaks to a deeply dysfunctional relationship that is undermining the reputation of UNBC. As evidenced by a variety of rankings, UNBC faculty are amongst the most accomplished and dedicated in the country yet their pay consistently ranks amongst the worst in the country. It is simply unacceptable that the administration would continue to attempt to leverage concessions from librarians and precarious contract faculty in exchange for the most modest of wage adjustments. It is also alarming that the administration is asking for concessions on collegial governance in exchange for their wage proposal. Indeed, the core problem at UNBC is a lack of meaningful collegial governance and any step backward on that front must be rejected.
Faculty across Ontario will stand in solidarity with our colleagues at UNBC until they achieve a fair settlement. It is time for the Board of Governors at UNBC to show some leadership and direct the administration bargaining team to return to the table and end this dispute.