Brandon University professors vote in support of strike mandate

Members of the Brandon University Faculty Association (BUFA) have voted in favour of a strike mandate.

Nearly 87 percent of the organization’s membership – which represents around 260 full-time faculty members and 90 contract staff – cast ballots in support of taking job action as part of an electronic referendum. Ballots were cast until midnight Saturday.

According to the union, negotiations have remained at a standstill following a dispute over language used in the collective agreement between faculty members and Brandon University.

On Jan. 19, 2023, BUFA members ratified their negotiating team’s mandate to bargain for better equity, diversity, inclusion, decolonization and Indigenization language. They have also been pushing for a better workload, compensation, academic freedom and governance, according to the union.

“BUFA members have mobilized around (equity, diversity, inclusion, decolonization) and Indigenization and rallied students and other campus unions in support of BUFA,” reads a statement from the organization.

In regards to compensation, BUFA points to since-repealed legislation that only allowed for a 1.75 percent wage increase over four years, which, when paired with high inflation and cost of living pressures, poses financial challenges to its membership.

Despite the vote, the organization said it is focused on reaching an agreement at the negotiating table this term, and, “believes that is possible if the employer prioritizes bargaining.”

In an email shared with Brandon University’s campus community Friday, the institution said it, “continues to engage in productive negotiations with BUFA,” with meetings scheduled throughout February and into March.

“Progress is ongoing and we are committed to reaching the best deal possible for all parties, including students, at the bargaining table,” the email reads.

A spokesperson told CTV News the university’s administration team doesn’t plan to provide further comment at this time.

View original article here Source