rabble blogs are the personal pages of some of Canada's most insightful progressive activists and commentators. All opinions belong to the writer; however, writers are expected to adhere to our guidelines. We welcome new bloggers -- contact us for details.

Faculty at the University of New Brunswick walk off the job

Please chip in to support more articles like this. Support rabble.ca today for as little as $1 per month!

Photo: Karsten Saunders/The Brunswickian

Want to see more articles like this? Chip in to rabble.ca and change the education conversation.

Full-time professors at the University of New Brunswick are now on strike.

After months of meetings, the University of New Brunswick and its full-time faculty were unable to reach a collective agreement as of Sunday night. The professors' union AUNBT set a strike deadline for 12:01 a.m. Monday morning.

"For a long it seemed like we were heading towards a strike, but it really did seem as though the last few days that [the university] was making an effort and they were back at the table," said AUNBT president Miriam Jones.

"So I was really disappointed. I'm not sure why they were going through those motions and making the same financial offer they made...it was almost like they were daring us. It was really odd."

Jones said picketing will start at all UNB campuses Monday [UNB locked out all full-time faculty as of Tuesday -ed.]. She said negotiations will continue throughout the strike, however, there are no new meetings scheduled at this time.

She said there was nothing the union's bargaining could have done to prevent the strike.

"I honestly think there was nothing our teams could have done. They were very patient, professional people with no walking out," Jones said. "Our team did everything they possibly they could. They were incredibly patient."

All classes at UNB, with exception with a few online courses in Miramichi, are now suspended for the duration of the strike.

The university said in a release that they're still committed to reaching a deal.

"UNB remains committed to achieving a new collective agreement that serves the broad interests of students and the university community and that improves the current contract with faculty," the release read.

UNB Student Union president Ben Whitney said the UNBSU is disappointed with the news and are planning their next steps.

"We'll be working as the exec to determine an appropriate course of action. We've got a lot of work done before now, we've just got to decide where we go from here," Whitney said.

"We'll be incredibly present in terms of communicating with students and getting them involved in the dialogue."

At the UNBSU's council meeting Sunday night, a motion was passed for the UNBSU to remain neutral during the strike.

"The intent is simple. We're here to work for students," Whitney said.

"At the end of the day that's the side we're on in this dispute. We feel students will be best represented if we continue to work with both sides for a number of reasons."

 

This article originally appeared in The Brunswickian. It is reprinted here with permission.

Photo: Karsten Saunders/The Brunswickian

Thank you for reading this story…

More people are reading rabble.ca than ever and unlike many news organizations, we have never put up a paywall – at rabble we’ve always believed in making our reporting and analysis free to all, while striving to make it sustainable as well. Media isn’t free to produce. rabble’s total budget is likely less than what big corporate media spend on photocopying (we kid you not!) and we do not have any major foundation, sponsor or angel investor. Our main supporters are people and organizations -- like you. This is why we need your help. You are what keep us sustainable.

rabble.ca has staked its existence on you. We live or die on community support -- your support! We get hundreds of thousands of visitors and we believe in them. We believe in you. We believe people will put in what they can for the greater good. We call that sustainable.

So what is the easy answer for us? Depend on a community of visitors who care passionately about media that amplifies the voices of people struggling for change and justice. It really is that simple. When the people who visit rabble care enough to contribute a bit then it works for everyone.

And so we’re asking you if you could make a donation, right now, to help us carry forward on our mission. Make a donation today.

Comments

We welcome your comments! rabble.ca embraces a pro-human rights, pro-feminist, anti-racist, queer-positive, anti-imperialist and pro-labour stance, and encourages discussions which develop progressive thought. Our full comment policy can be found here. Learn more about Disqus on rabble.ca and your privacy here. Please keep in mind:

Do

  • Tell the truth and avoid rumours.
  • Add context and background.
  • Report typos and logical fallacies.
  • Be respectful.
  • Respect copyright - link to articles.
  • Stay focused. Bring in-depth commentary to our discussion forum, babble.

Don't

  • Use oppressive/offensive language.
  • Libel or defame.
  • Bully or troll.
  • Post spam.
  • Engage trolls. Flag suspect activity instead.