Tent city amid BU professors strike
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Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 20/10/2011 (4250 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.
BRANDON University students have set up a tent city on campus and have vowed to stay there until the professors strike is settled.
Meanwhile, the national professors union will be in Brandon Friday to join the picket lines and turn over a $1-million line of credit that will ease the financial strain of being on strike.
The Occupy the Courtyard Event kicked off mid-afternoon Wednesday, said BU Students Union president Deandra Tousignant. “They won’t leave until there’s a resolution.”
Tousignant said BUSU has donated a barbecue and will keep its student centre open for access to washrooms.
Students are alarmed that the strike is into a ninth day this morning, Tousignant said. “The students are absolutely worried — the students are saying we need a resolution.
“We know that the administration has brought back the same proposal several times in a row,” she said.
The Canadian Association of University Teachers will arrive tomorrow with a $1-million line of credit, a standard move during professors strikes, CAUT executive director Jim Turk said from Ottawa.
“The employer doesn’t continue benefits,” he said, but most health and dental plans allow striking workers to pay the employer’s share while they’re out on strike. The line of credit helps strikers maintain their benefits, as well as helping with the costs of strike headquarters and other expenses, Turk said.
The Brandon professors will pay back CAUT after they rebuild their strike fund, he said.
Turk said it is worrisome BU is encouraging professors to cross their own picket lines, and is “threatening” students that they will be responsible for academic consequences if they do not attend classes taught by strike-breakers.
“I fear they may be indications of some intransigence,” Turk said.
BU told students earlier this week they have the moral and political right not to cross picket lines and can appeal any academic issues to their deans or to the university senate.
BU Faculty Association president Prof. Joe Dolecki told his 240 members Wednesday the conciliator has returned to Winnipeg after talks broke down late Tuesday.
The professors say they’ve reduced their wage-increase demands to 2.9, 3.0, and 3.25 per cent over three years, down from 3.9, 4.25, and 4.4.
But Dolecki said that the university has refused to budge from its last offer of 0.5, 1.0, and 2.75 per cent, which BU says is similar to settlements at the University of Winnipeg and the University of Manitoba.
The two sides are far apart on benefits and working conditions.
BUFA says that only three professors have crossed their own picket lines, and only a few students are attending their classes.