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Mediator appointed in TRU labour dispute

Job action could precede start of mediated talks
January 13, 2016 6:50 A.M.

TRU administration and faculty have booked three days with mediator Mark Brown starting Friday in an effort to resolve differences in a long-simmering contract dispute.

But taking that step doesn’t seem to have headed off job action that could begin on Thursday.

The two parties agreed Tuesday afternoon to take the step after TRU Faculty Association issued 72-hour strike notice Monday.

“While we see the employer and union positions still significantly far apart on key issues, we are committed to working with Mr. Brown and finding a mutually beneficial settlement,” said Tom Friedman, TRUFA President.

Faculty will be in a legal position to undertake job action on Thursday morning at 8 a.m. The union is not prepared to delay any anticipated job action until mediation begins, said association president Tom Friedman.

“Once we sit down formally with the mediator, TRUFA will suspend any strike action that it may undertake,” said Friedman.

The parties have been negotiating a renewal of a collective agreement that expired in March 2014 and have been bargaining since February 2015. 

An experienced mediator in a private practice based in Whistler, Brown served with the B.C. Labour Relations Board from 1996 to 2010 as vice-chair, mediator, registrar and associate chair mediation.

The parties will meet with Brown on Friday and have also booked time with him Saturday and Sunday. 

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