Q: I am a 4th year student who would normally be in a practicum placement right now. What can be done to ensure that I get to complete my required practicum hours this semester so that I can convocate?

A: The Faculty Association is very conscious of the need for students to successfully complete practicum hours.  We will do everything we can to ensure that program-specific practicum requirements are addressed in the “back to work protocols” that will be developed with the employer once the strike is settled.  Disciplines and faculty members involved in practicum courses and placements are already investigating and discussing the potential mechanisms/arrangements for successful completion of practica.

Q: My mortgage payment is due this Friday, but my strike pay won’t be enough to cover it. What can I do?

A: Bankers and lenders are normally quite considerate when their clients are participating in job action, and will often allow reduced or deferred payments. We have a form letter at strike HQ if a lending institution asks for evidence that a member is on strike. Please note that special consideration would usually need to be requested before the pay date.

Q: I heard a rumour that the FA is asking for back pay to the date of hiring. Is this true?

A: Seriously? No, we have proposed a re-mapping on a go-forward basis. UNBC faculty have been subsidizing University finances through their low salaries to the tune of thousands of dollars per year per person. Nevertheless, we only seek to address UNBC’s broken salary structure for the future.

Q: Do I still have access to benefits while I am on strike?

A: Yes, your Faculty Association is ensuring that all of your regular benefits (extended health, vision, counselling services, etc) continue for the duration of the strike. To find out more about these benefits, you can look on the Human Resources web site (HR benefits info), or contact HR. If you still have questions, please contact your Faculty Association, and we will do our best to help.

Q: Is it true that… ?

A: These are stressful times for all involved. Be assured, however, that we will let members know about any events that affect our members and negotiations. Unless you see it in an official email from us or see it on our website, it’s probably just a rumor.

Q: Why is the UNBC FA on strike for a 0% GWI?

A: The UNBC salary structure for FA members is broken: every year we work, we fall farther behind the market rate in effect at other institutions. This is made even worse by inflation. This gives our members a strong incentive to look for employment elsewhere, which will ultimately be to the detriment of UNBC. Our proposal – the so-called re-mapping – is to set up a grid system under which each member’s salary would be determined by their years of service in rank. Under this system, some members would see no increase at all. Others would see their salaries raised closer to the market rate. So we are not asking for ANY across-the-board increase, rather an adjustment to the salary structure.

Q: What should I do when I see misinformation in the media?

A: You can help by commenting on the press web sites where these stories show up. In addition, you can help ensure the widest dissemination possible of FA statements by re-tweeting, liking on FaceBook, emailing to your friends, etc. At a more formal level, your Executive is monitoring the media and providing clarification when we see stories that are misleading or incorrect.

Q: I am on sabbatical. What can I do to help?

A: As a current sabbaticant you have a couple of options: first, you could notify the administration that you are going on strike. They would then stop paying you, and you could join us on the picket line. Second, you could remain on sabbatical and contribute the difference between your regular pay and your strike pay (or whatever fraction you wish) to the FA to help support our strike efforts. The Executive is grateful to you for considering how to help out!

Q: Do we have to report to the headquarters? Can we report on campus if we make alternate transportation arrangements?

A: The transportation logistics will be arranged in consultation with the picket captains, and sign-ins will take place on the picket line. In principle, it should be fine to carpool or otherwise arrive at the picket line.

Q: I am not appointed at a UNBC campus and am too far from a picketing location to participate. What shall I do?

A: All Members are expected to register for picket duty. Those who are not close to a campus, or are appointed at a campus at which no picketing is planned, will not be expected to relocate to picket. Such Members will be assigned alternative duties if they wish to participate in the strike.