Capilano University’s instructors have issued a strike notice just weeks before the final exam period is scheduled to begin on April 13.
Contract negotiations between the Capilano University Faculty Association (CFA) and the university administration since early February have been unsuccessful, even with the assistance of a third party mediator.
Both sides have agreed to the provincial government’s mandated wage increase of 5.5 per cent over a five year term.
However, the union is seeking more authority over the regulation of instructor employment, but this would interfere with the administration’s abilities to manage the institution’s finances when “there is no ongoing funding.”
“The University also cannot agree to CFA proposals that restrain the University Board from carrying out its budget related responsibilities,” reads the latest bargaining update.
Instructors are arguing that the strike is fighting changes that limit the variety of courses offered and the blocks in which courses are available.
“This is due to decisions to cancel courses,” reads an open letter by the union. “We believe that educational institutions should have contractually protected Academic Freedom, that massive, structural changes should not happen to institutions at the expense of the talented and well-qualified instructors who teach your classes.”
“We would like to see an institution that protects the rights of the people who teach your classes. We would like to have an institution comprehensive enough to meet the broad advanced education needs of the communities we serve.”
While there were initial fears of a full-scale strike, the CFA promised yesterday that faculty will continue their roles in teaching, marking, supervising projects, practicums and field studies and conducting exams.
But faculty members will not provide students or the university’s submission system with the marks and grades of students until a deal in the CFA’s favour has been reached. This could delay necessary transcripts for post-secondary institution transfers, degrees and graduation ceremonies.