TRU faculty serve strike notice; could be on picket lines by Thursday

Faculty at Thompson Rivers University have served strike notice, could soon be walking picket lines

By Kamloops This Week

Faculty at Thompson Rivers University have served strike notice and could be walking picket lines by Thursday morning.

The Thompson Rivers University Faculty Association (TRUFA) issued 72-hour notice on Monday morning. The union will have the legal right to strike, under the provisions of the Labour Relations Act, 72 hours after TRU administration and the BC Labour Relations Board receive the notice.

TRUFA and the university have been negotiating a new contract for nearly two years, with the latest  negotiating session taking place on Jan. 7.

“Unfortunately, the employer remains unwilling to acknowledge or address the issues that faculty have maintained are critical,” TRUFA president Tom Friedman said in a statement. “Before Christmas, the union submitted a bargaining package that included significant concessions from our original positions, but we have not seen any real movement from the employer.”

In November, TRUFA members voted 80 per cent in favour of a strike mandate.

Friedman said TRUFA wants the university to “respect the principle of shared governance upon which TRU was founded as a university in 2005,” referring to TRUFA’s call for joint responsibility by faculty and administrators for academic decisions.

The faculty association also wants a commitment from administration to hire full-time faculty to perform full-time, ongoing work and is calling for more money to be spent on education and less on administration.

The Thompson Rivers University Faculty Association  represents approximately 650 instructors, librarians, counsellors, educational coordinators and learning specialists on campuses in  Kamloops and Williams Lake.