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TRU faculty poised for job action

Administration contends wage demands would hike costs by 45 percent
January 13, 2016 2:45 P.M.

TRU faculty will work to rule on campus this morning, Jan. 14, but the union assures there will be no impact on classes or students.

The work-to-rule action limits communications and contact between faculty and the administrative offices of the provost and vice-president academic.

TRU Faculty Association confirmed the labour action Wednesday after agreeing to the appointment of mediator Mark Brown earlier in the week. University administration and TRUFA have scheduled meetings with Brown Friday and through the weekend.

TRUFA is in a legal position to strike as of 8 a.m. Thursday.

“Our job action will not impact students; students should be prepared to attend their classes and continue with their educational activities on campus both Thursday and Friday,” said TRUFA president Tom Friedman. “Our members are committed to minimizing the impact on their students, but they want to push TRU administration to address their key issues, and negotiate toward a mutually beneficial settlement.”  

As a result, the job action will not affect students, but will instead target administrative operations of the university, he said.

Meanwhile, the university took the unusual measure Wednesday of posting key bargaining proposals on its website. Administration contends that the TRUFA wage proposal would push up costs by 49 percent.

Administration is proposing a 5.5 percent wage increase over a five-year contract. For top-paid positions, that would amount to an 11.5 percent increase to $145,000 from the current $130,000. Sessional salaries would go up 8.7 per cent, from $5,661 to $6,152.

According to university administration, TRUFA has not proposed a contract term, but is asking for an increase that would put the top salary at $147,000 and a sessional salary increase to $10,125 from $5,561 per three-credit course.

TRUFA has cited key issues other than wages, including a desire to see faculty given greater involvement in governance.

TRUFA has consistently stated that it is committed to mediation, but recognizes that there is a significant gap between the current negotiating positions of the parties, Friedman said.  

“The TRUFA bargaining team will be giving its best effort to bridge that gap with the assistance of the mediator,” explained Friedman.

The current collective agreement for TRU faculty members expired in March 2014 and the parties have been in negotiations since last February.

The TRU Faculty Association represents 650 instructors, researchers, librarians, counsellors, educational coordinators and learning specialists in Kamloops and Williams Lake.

Joe Faculty says:
January 14, 2016 10:04am

TRU's bargaining "facts" are misleading at best, totally false at worse. The Union wants to proportionally increase wages for the highly qualified but gravely abused and wholly underpaid sessional members teaching one or two courses at less than living wage (a lot less). Hence compared to what they are earning currently, these mistreated and underpaid faculty members could receive a relatively good boost that might actually allow them to earn a fair wage.

Instead, the Admin chooses to miscast the intent by using percentages and pretending the request would affect all faculty. Hey Matt: 100% of 0 is 0, just FYI...

Also interesting is that TRU's spokesperson is not an academic or anyone who deals with academic issues, but rather the money guy. What does that tell you about TRU's priorities?


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