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This article was published 20/11/2011 (3293 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.
Brandon University and its striking professors are now squabbling over how much extra money professors should get paid for making up students' lost time whenever classes resume.
This is the 41st day of the strike, the longest faculty strike in Manitoba history.
"We're farther apart than we've been for five or six weeks," BU's lawyer/negotiator Grant Mitchell said Sunday.
"They introduced a new issue, which would cost $1.2 million to $1.4 million for the employer" in a $45-million budget, Mitchell said.
Mitchell said the BU Faculty Association wants professors to be paid the salary they have lost during the strike and wants them paid double for every extra day that the semester is extended to ensure that students do not lose their academic year.
"The money they're asking for is crippling," Mitchell said. "It's unbelievable. In my 30-plus years of bargaining, I've never seen anything like this."
BUFA executive member Prof. Bill Paton scoffed at Mitchell's claims.
"He creates good tales," Paton said Sunday.
"Clearly, there'll be an extension of the term. If we work beyond the normal time, we have to get paid for that."
Paton said professors are not asking to be paid double time. The university senate would decide how to extend a term, and it's not yet clear if professors would be expected to work beyond their normal time, such as weekends, evenings, or during the holiday break, he said.
Paton said the two sides are negotiating a return-to-work protocol, with the university offering $2,000 to each member and the union requesting $3,000 a member. In the shorter 2008 strike, the university paid each professor $2,000 when BUFA returned to work, he said.
"In salary alone, they've (BU) made $2 million" during the strike on wages not paid, Paton said.
The university has offered 1.0 per cent in the first year, 1.0 in the second year, and 3.0 in both the third and fourth years of a proposed four-year deal. The union wants 2.0 per cent in the second year, which it says means the two sides are only $210,000 apart.
But Mitchell pointed out that because the extra one per cent would go into the base salary, the raise would be paid in each of the second through fourth years, putting BU on the hook for more than $600,000.
Paton also pointed out some professors are retiring at the Christmas break, leaving for other jobs decided upon long before the strike, or starting research leaves, and that will complicate plans to extend the term.
Meanwhile, Paton said, the union met Friday with BU vice-presidents -- but without Mitchell in the room -- and signed off on numerous contract-language issues that had been agreed upon earlier, but which BUFA feared would be off the table if the two sides go to binding arbitration.
"That's not correct," said Mitchell, who contended the language items had been agreed upon by both sides earlier.
Mitchell and Paton did agree that at least 30 students have withdrawn from BU during the strike.
Mitchell said they're transferring to the University of Winnipeg or the University of Regina.