Citizen Media Watch

december 20th, 2020

Viu Collective Agreement Viufa

Posted by lotta

Toni O`Keeffe, VIU`s communications director, says the university has no intention of withdrawing from its position to keep the current contract unchanged until 2012. ”A non-layoff clause is a huge cost that is being moved into the future,” she said. The B.C. government has mandated that all universities and colleges have cost-neutral budgets this year. Earlier this week, O`Keeffe said it expected there to be ”reductions of any kind” from faculties or staff. In the collective agreement on redundancies, which the union says is a ”deal breaker”, union actions were triggered because of the language. VIUFA, McDonald says, wants the university to accept a clause that only provides for layoffs if the government is forced to declare a financial crisis. This would pretty much require the university to implement a policy of non-layoffs. Asked if the faculty`s bargaining team was prepared to admit anything, McDonald`s replied, ”Not at this particular point.” In order not to increase the higher education budget, the administration`s negotiating position is to extend the collective agreement that expired last spring and extend it until 2012. Wages would be frozen for the duration of the contract. ”At this point,” McDonald said during a short break in collective bargaining Thursday afternoon, ”it`s a bit like a snowy day.” The president of the Vancouver Island University Faculty Association (VIUFA), whose members went on strike at 8 a.m. yesterday, wants to reassure the more than 18,000 students whose classes are cancelled that it is ”hopeful” that a solution will be found without compromising the semester. However, the two sides remain miles apart.

The current collective agreement provides for layoffs ”for reasons of evidence and a significant decrease in enrolment over an extended period and for demonstrable reasons of reductions in programs or services, including the non-feasibility of non-educational organizations.” University spokeswoman Toni O`Keefe said the negotiations failed because VIUFA wanted a ”no Layoffs” clause in the collective agreement. ”We can`t do that,” she said, citing government`s request B.C for public universities to freeze their budgets. ”We can`t negotiate costs.” Patrick Barbosa, a spokesman for the University of Vancouver Students` Union, says the VIUSU supports the faculty association`s right to bargain collectively, but the organization remains officially neutral. ”We`re not taking sides. We are for the students,” he said. Although a government-appointed mediator is participating in Thursday`s negotiations, the impasse continues. A press release from the Faculty Association, issued last night after the VIUFA president`s interrogation, stated that the ”strike was continuing” and that no further discussions were planned. ”We came to the table to focus on one topic – to make sure there is no unnecessary reduction in courses at VIU. Unfortunately, the employer has not changed its position,” says a quote from McDonald.” Imogene Lim, chair of VIUFA`s Committee on Human Rights and International Solidarity, has been gathering anti-racist resources since the summer. You can find them in your VIU inbox under the title ”HRISC Potpourri of Resources.” Here is […] The VIUFA Status of Women Committee and the Canadian Federation of Women at Nanaimo University have joined forces for a video campaign, orange light announcements and public banners to support this year`s 16 days […] November 9, 2020 Dear friends and colleagues, The United Nations reports a ”shadow pandemic” that has seen an increase in all forms of gender-based violence due to Covid 19`s blocking and social vaccination measures.



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