Supporters Rally for VIU Picketers
“Faculty at Vancouver Island University are not alone in their fight for a better contract,” said Cindy Oliver, President of the Federation of Post-Secondary Educators. “Over 10,000 faculty and staff who work and teach in BC’s public post-secondary education system are standing strong to support VIU faculty in their job action,” Oliver added. “When the picket lines went up this morning, our locals from across the province were taking steps to show their solidarity for the VIU faculty,” Oliver noted.
“This dispute could have been averted if the employer had been prepared to work with the faculty association and address the concerns they have about their institution. That didn’t happen and the picketing that started this morning is the direct result. Across the province similar frustrations are building at local post-secondary institutions where senior administrators are failing to acknowledge local concerns and pushing local bargaining sessions into a stalemate. That approach will only make matters worse. We need to find solutions, not excuses for doing nothing,” Oliver added.
“At VIU we understand that the employer has finally conceded to mediated talks with the faculty association. We have our Labour Relations Staff on hand to support those efforts. However, we know that if a resolution is possible it will take good faith bargaining by the employer. Hopefully today’s picket action will send a clear message to the VIU administration that the onus is on them to work with faculty to find that solution,” Oliver concluded.
The Federation of Post-Secondary Educators of BC is the provincial voice for faculty and staff in BC teaching universities, colleges and institutes, and in private sector institutions. FPSE member locals, represented by Presidents' Council and the Executive, represent over 10,000 faculty and staff at 18 public and 12 private sector institutions.