PRINCE GEORGE (December 3, 2019) – BC Liberal MLAs Shirley Bond and Mike Morris are demanding that Labour Minister Harry Bains take quick action after the minister’s newly-appointed mediator failed to reach a resolution to end the strike at the University of Northern British Columbia (UNBC).
“Faculty and administration are resuming classes for the sake of the students but this dispute is far from resolved,” says Bond, MLA for Prince George-Valemont. “The NDP labour minister should have been working overtime weeks ago to ensure a fair and efficient bargaining process but instead remained MIA while students were kept out of classrooms for over three weeks. This minister needs to clearly outline what steps he is going to take to ensure that job action will not have to continue into the new year.”
Both UNBC faculty and administration left the bargaining table Thursday evening without reaching a resolution. A statement issued Friday by the faculty association stated that classes will resume this week and will run in place of an exam period to salvage some of the lost coursework for students, but a bad faith bargaining complaint is now being filed to the Labour Relations Board and further job action may ensue.
“Bains cannot stay idle any more while both sides prepare for another round of negotiations,” says Morris, MLA for Prince George-Mackenzie. “He needs to quit being a labour activist and do his job as Minister for the sake of the thousands of students who have fallen victim to this protracted dispute.”