Money trouble down the hill

UNB full-time librarians will be part of strike, but will still be open
UNB full-time librarians will be part of strike, but will still be open

University of New Brunswick faculty and administration were unable to negotiate a deal before the Monday deadline and will now strike until further notice.

According to a press release sent out by the Association of University of New Brunswick Teachers, there was no movement from the university to reach an agreement.

“I wonder if they ever intended to settle,” AUNBT president Miriam Jones said in the release. “They kept our team talking until practically the last minute and then offered no movement. It is very difficult to view this behaviour in a charitable light.”

UNB student services will continue even if students don’t pay their tuition. Peter McDougall said the university has enough funds to stay afloat without tuition.

“Tuition is an important source of our revenue but it’s certainly not the only source,” said McDougall, associate vice-president of human resources at UNB.

The UNB student union sent an email to all students advising them not to pay their tuition until the Jan. 17 deadline.

McDougall said while he respects the student union’s right to advise the students, he says students should still pay their tuition as soon as they can.

“We suggest to students that paying their tuition in a timely fashion is the appropriate thing to do.”

Mohannad Saadeh was one of the UNB students who decided to hold off on paying tuition until the strike was announced. Originally from Jordan, he said a strike would be a “huge disappointment.”

“As an international student, I expect more from UNB,” said Saadeh. “I’m not taking any chances with my money.”

In spite of a potential loss of revenue, student services such as the library will remain open. Some librarians are members of AUNBT but the general operation of the library will remain unchanged. UNB also intends to keep residences open.

“People will not be locked out of their rooms,” said McDougall.

However, all decisions made by UNB are made on an “incremental basis”. The administration is dealing with problems as they arise.

“What the situation might be next week could well be different a week later.”

St. Thomas is beginning to sort out its own bargaining deal. Unlike UNB, negotiations between the faculty union and the administration are going smoothly, according to STU student union president Elizabeth Murphy.

“I’m hoping that everything will be settled and final by the end of this month.”

Murphy said while the terms of agreement are still being hammered out, STU looks to be in the clear.

“As far as things go at STU, I think it’s safe to say things are looking good.”

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