Mediator Writing Report on UNBC Contract Dispute
Prince George, B.C. – Things are at a standstill in the contract dispute between the University of Northern BC and its Faculty Association.
The approximately 350 members of the Association went on strike March 5th to back their demand for an increase in wages to bring them in line with the salaries of counterparts across the country. They were off the job for two weeks until the university applied for a mediator to be appointed to the dispute.
Faculty Association President Jacqueline Holler tells 250 News that the faculty and administration bargaining teams met with mediator Trevor Sones on Wednesday. She says “the day of mediation concluded without an agreement and so at this point we’re just awaiting the mediator’s report. The mediator has until April 8th to render that report but we believe that he will try to get it to us a little bit sooner. It’s a challenge, right?”
The dispute was previously placed before a mediator in November, December and January. Asked whether Sones indicated he would arrange further meetings, Holler says “at this point no further meetings are scheduled.”
With faculty members back at work and classes in session following the suspension of job action, Holler says it is not expected there will be any further developments until after the mediator’s report is given to the two bargaining teams.
The Faculty Association had earlier stated it would have preferred to reach a negotiated settlement at the table than go to mediation however Holler has indicated the faculty would be receptive to the dispute going to binding arbitration.