If no collective bargains are met, UNB professors’ union AUNBT will strike on Jan. 13 at 12:01 a.m.
“It’s do or die time, it’s really time to take a stand,” said AUNBT president Miriam Jones.
If they strike, negotiations will continue but classes will be put on hold.
“Talking hasn’t really seemed to do any good,” said Jones. “Given the lack of movement, part of me is not very hopeful.”
Despite the lack of hope on the part of the administration to agree to their terms, Jones said nine out of 10 potential strikes are resolved at this stage without having to have job action.
“In our current situation I am really hoping they will see our resolve and recognize that the issues are legitimate,” she said. “And at the end of the day we all want to build UNB as a better institution.”
Whether the strike involves all professors or only full-time professors is still unknown.
“I’ve talked to the AUNBT and they’re not giving a full answer on that,” said UNBSU president Ben Whitney. “I’ve [also] talked to some of my profs who are part time profs and they don’t know. So the honest answer is I don’t know.”
Jones said she recognizes the stress this will be putting on students, but believes in the long run it will be beneficial. She believes it will create a better institution and says unfortunately this is the route they need to take to ensure this happens.
“We’re here for 20-30 years, so our view is a lot longer than someone whose here for four years,” said Jones. “No Canadian university has ever lost a term because of a faculty strike, and we certainly hope that we’re not going to break that record. It will probably involve some inconvenience and some compressing of material, that kind of thing.”
She emphasizes the unlikelihood of it affecting students’ ability to finish the term.
The truce between the university and the union to prevent job action ended on Jan. 2. With the strike deadline in place, Whitney is hoping students not paying tuition will put some pressure on the professors and the university so they can get back to classes.
“It’s a pretty easy way for students to put some pressure on the situation,” he said. “This is a great way to call publicity to it to and just say that students want to get back to class. I want to be in class, really, at the end of the day I am a student and I am here to learn and I want to be in class learning.”
Whitney will be meeting with AUNBT today or early tomorrow, along with UNBSJ associate vice-president Laurelle Levert and the presidents of the SRC and GSA.
There will also be an information session for Collective Bargaining Council members and guests at 5 p.m on Jan. 7, at the AUNBT Fredericton Strike Headquarters, 698 McLeod Avenue.
The university was unavailable for an interview at this time.
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