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
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