At 8:18 am this morning, the TRU Faculty Association Executive authorized me to notify Thompson Rivers University that it intends to initiate job action in support of convincing TRU administration to acknowledge the needs of TRU faculty and reach agreement on a new contract. In November, TRU faculty gave the Executive this mandate through an 80% ‘yes’ vote.
As you know, the parties have been negotiating for more than 11 months and there has been very little progress on some key issues, including ensuring full faculty participation in academic decision-making, the posting of full-time faculty positions when full-time, ongoing work is available, and holding administrators to account for decisions on workload, staffing levels and budgets. Before Christmas, TRUFA submitted a bargaining package that included significant shifts from our original positions in order to move the parties closer. TRUFA has made several attempts to reduce our package and to find varied, creative solutions to both faculty issues and to address the concerns expressed by the employer. Unfortunately, the employer has outright rejected these moves.
The TRUFA bargaining team last met with the employer on Thursday, January 7th. At that negotiation session, TRUFA bargainers were told by administration that TRU was unwilling to engage the union on these issues in an attempt to reach a mutually beneficial resolution. In addition, administration has refused to drop their most problematic proposals.
Seventy-two hour strike notice means that, when the Labour Relations Board acknowledges receipt of the notice, TRUFA has the legal right to strike. During this notice period and even after the notice period expires, the parties may still communicate and TRUFA remains willing to reach a resolution at any time.
In the meantime, please continue performing your normal work duties.
The TRUFA Executive has called a special emergency general faculty meeting for 7 pm on Thursday, January 14th. More details regarding Thursday including the location of the meeting will be forthcoming.
If you have any specific questions, please let me know.