April 14, 2016 - 6:30 PM
KAMLOOPS - Despite a ratified agreement between Thompson Rivers University administrators and faculty, the faculty is still voicing concerns after announcing a non-confidence vote earlier this week.
The week-long voting period is set to conclude on Tuesday, April 19.
Tom Friedman, a spokesperson for TRU’s faculty association says while the vote carries no legal weight, its purpose will be to show the relationship is broken.
“They are not satisfied with leadership shown by senior administrators,” he says. “Our members say to us our views are not being taken into consideration."
Friedman says members have expressed low morale, lack of professional respect and feeling unheard by campus administrators.
The vote comes on the heels of a ratified agreement between faculty and administrators which is scheduled to be re-negotiated in March 2019.
Friedman says faculty made the agreement because it was the best option available and says the two-month wait before announcing the vote was ‘deliberate’ to see if there would be any changes in place.
Diana Skoglund, a spokesperson for the university, says the vote did not surprise administrators because it came up during the negotiation period.
“We knew it was coming, we just didn’t know the exact date,” she says.
Skoglund says there have already been meetings held to address concerns but notes those discussions have a scheduled agenda and are not free to discuss each topic that presents itself in the moment.
“It’s just about getting to the table and talking and moving forward and just continuing to stay at the table and talking to each other about what the issues are. We can’t be responding to concerns we’re hearing about in social media,” she says.
Skoglund argues vote results will not dictate the nature of the relationship, but the continued discussion process will.
"It’s really just about commitment by both parties to communicate and to be the best we can be for the university,” she says.
The vote at TRU comes one month after faculty expressed its dissatisfaction at the University of British Columbia with their own non-confidence vote. The union on that campus passed a motion declaring no confidence in the university’s governance with 62 per cent in favour.
For previous story's on the labour dispute, click here.
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News from © InfoTel News Ltd, 2016