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October 28, 2017 6:09 am

UNBC Faculty Association Receives Strike Mandate

Saturday, January 24, 2015 @ 8:31 AM

Prince George, B.C. – Over 300 UNBC faculty members have voted 84.8% in favour of taking strike action.

Chief negotiator Ted Binnema says the main issues include wages, pensions, and job security.

The vote means the faculty association has 90 days in which to initiate some form of strike action.

Despite the strike vote, Binnema says negotiations between both sides is continuing through this weekend with the assistance of a mediator.

UNBC’s Faculty Association certified as a union last April. Its members include faculty, lab instructors, and librarians.


Not a big surprise with UNBC salaries 22% below comparable universities. It wasn’t the administration that got UNBC such a high ranking among Canadian universities, it was the faculty.

Agreed! And it doesn’t help that CNC faculty make more than UNBC faculty.

Are you deriding CNC? At least they turn out people with job skills.

Yes..because doctors that graduate from UNBC have no skills…lol.

Take a look at the employment stats for UNBC grads, http://www.unbc.ca/about-unbc/facts/our-alumni

I find it ironic that UNBC and the provincial government can spend millions on new programs at the Wood Innovation Design building yet they are unable to pay UNBC’s faculty competitive wages.

If I was a UNBC faculty member, I would be ready to strike too!

Posted on Saturday, January 24, 2015 @ 9:25 AM by akanemo
Agreed! And it doesn’t help that CNC faculty make more than UNBC faculty.


Akanemo, Not quite sure of your source; however, CNC faculty at top of range may earn more than UNBC ‘lecturers'(who are the bottom a the pay grids at UNBC). Full-time CNC faculty are on a single salary grid while UNBC has separate pay grids for associate professors and full professors. A full professor earns considerably more than a lecturer. When comparing overall pay ranges and work requirements, UNBC faculty are paid about 25% to 50% more than CNC faculty.

I am not arguing that these ranges are morally right or wrong; nor do I disagree with UNBC faculty trying to negotiate a wage lift. However, stating CNC faculty make more than UNBC faculty is not a valid argument as it is not reflective of the actual situation.

Anotherside. Try not to confuse issues with the facts. This just confuses some posters, and causes them to scratch their heads, and stare at the ceiling.

The fact of the matter is UNBC cannot afford to pay much more in wages, because their enrollment has not increased in over 6 years (may have decreased)

Universities are funded on the total number of Full Time equivalent Students that enroll each year. In the case of UNBC they have in actual fact been over funded for the past five years. So they have a serious cash flow problem.

If in fact they get some raises, my guess is that they will be paid for to some extent by laying off people.

We will have to wait and see.

I see our UNBC is increasing the amount of foreign students big time. It’s up 71 from last year, as they pay 4-5x the tuition we know where the money is coming from, just like to know where it’s going…

Why is it that you say that the foreign students pay 5x more?
Isn’t the reason that they come to school here because tuition is 5x higher where they come from?
A student is a student when it comes to filling seats.
…..and to boot, the foreign ones aren’t the ones flunking out after a little too much partying.

Cdz, because I work with some of them. The reason they come here is the schooling is better and the chance of getting a job in their respective field is a lot more likely. In countries where almost everyone attends post secondary there are to many people with degrees for the jobs availiable.

A student is not just a student when filling seats. What numbers of canadian students flunk out compared to foreign at UNBC cdz? Or are you just guessing ?

You’re right Palopu, UNBC has not met it’s enrollment targets, but this is much more the responsibility of the administration rather than the faculty. Meanwhile the administration spends a great deal of money on things like 25th anniversary celebrations…
When independent arbitrator Vince Ready was called in to settle the previous contract just last year he poured cold water on the administration’s contention that it did not have the ability to pay. He listed the fiscal characteristics after a thorough review and concluded that “Such characteristics do not, by any measure, create the impression of a dire financial circumstance, or of a situation preventing the institution from reordering its spending priorities.”

If UNBC is having a hard time filling seats with domestic students (and it seems like they are), I would say, let in as many foreign students as are willing.

International students may choose to study in Canada for a variety of reasons; rarely is it because tuition in Cdn schools is less expensive than in their home country.

Common reasons include:

Cdn schools are less expensive than American schools and provide may of the same benefits and opportunities.

Students may not have strong enough grades to get into the credible universities in their home country.

Cdn schools may provide the students with a competitive advantage in competing for jobs in their home countries where there is often strong competition for better jobs.

Many students are looking at a Cdn degree as an advantage when applying for immigration opportunities later.

While I think there are real advantages to the domestic (Cdn) student in having the opportunity to study with a diverse student body; I am frustrated by the fee structure charged International students. While the International fees are supposed to be based on 100% of the direct operating expenses; the fees do not include the capital costs of running an institution. Sooner or later, the buildings, support systems, etc. need replacement. The International fees do not contribute to these expenses. In my opinion, the International fees should be 33% to 50% higher to reflect these real costs. And the institutions should have to reserve these money for long term infrastructure expenses.

Anotherside, I have talked to some foreign students, actually talked to them, you start your list with why the May come here..so guess you are guessing, I stated facts.

Northern BC 71%
Southern BC and Vancouver Island 19%
Elsewhere 11%



Good maths if you do not work for the Government you should apply NOW.

Posted on Saturday, January 24, 2015 @ 4:49 PM by P Val
Anotherside, I have talked to some foreign students, actually talked to them, you start your list with why the May come here..so guess you are guessing, I stated facts
No guessing involved … Based on more than 30 years professional experience in this field including assignments and exchanges in multiple overseas institutions.

However, I will guess that there will be more International students sitting in my classrooms next week than you have talked to.

Prof … you raise some valid points; especially regarding some of the historical aspects. However, it should be pointed out that the cost of housing rarely factors into negotiated pay scales in the public sector. Take a look at the teachers, nurses, colleges, fire fighters, police, etc. and you will see fairly uniform pay scales across the province.

If there is an adjustment for housing or other unusual conditions, it will usually occur outside the base pay scale and be listed as an allowance. So it would be UBC, SFU or U Vic unions that would be negotiating for an upward adjustment or allowance, not UNBC management arguing to suppress salaries based on housing costs.

Some schools may offer subsidized housing to attract faculty in high cost areas. SFU, for example, has a condo development on campus that sells units to SFU faculty at well below current market value.

Regarding the current labour dispute at UNBC, there is an old saying that goes like this, “Management usually gets the union they deserve.” It will be interesting to see how this one plays out.

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