BUFA

BUFA Announcements & Press Releases


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October 28, 2011
  • BUFA Negotiators Return to Brandon.

    University Faculty Association (BUFA) confirmed today that its bargaining team returned to Brandon late last night after 3 days of mediation efforts in Winnipeg to end the contract dispute between the faculty association and the Board of Governors of the university.

    Earlier on Thursday afternoon, BUFA tabled before Mediator Michael Werier, a set of proposals on outstanding language issues to which the Employer undertook to respond later that afternoon.  As of 3:30 today, no response has been received. 

    In commenting on these developments, BUFA President and Chief Negotiator, Joe Dolecki, said, “We were assured that we would receive a response by 6:30 p.m., but, as usual, no response to our proposal was received at that time, and we decided to return to Brandon.”

    “We are hopeful that the Employer is redoubling its efforts so that we will receive something today,” he added.

    Meanwhile, this afternoon a contingent of Canadian Association of University Teachers flying pickets joined the BUFA picket line and expressed support for BUFA in a meeting at the strike headquarters. They brought messages of solidarity from across the country and donations to the BUFA strike fund.

    “The support from our colleagues across Canada has been overwhelming,” said David Winters, a member of the BUFA bargaining team, “Our members know that the whole academic world is watching events unfold in Brandon.”

    The BUFA strike has entered its eighteenth day.

    For further information contact:
    Joe Dolecki, BUFA President 727-9749
    Bill Paton, BUFA Secretary 727-1000



October 27, 2011
  • A Statement to the University Community.

    The Board of Governors and Dr Deborah Poff are now maintaining that despite large revenue increases from the Selinger government (5%  per year for the next three years and tuition increases of 1%-1.5% in 2011 and 2012 respectively), they are impoverished and cannot afford in years 1 and 2 of the contract with BUFA to go above 0.5% and 1.0%. This is a position held by one of the highest paid university presidents in Canada (relative to the number of students and the annual budget of BU).

    Dr Poff and the Board of Governors have gone from hiding behind a fictitious government mandate to universities of 0-0-2%, to comparing their offer with the settlements at Universities of Winnipeg and University of Manitoba (which were reached before the significant increases in operating grants given by the NDP government to all Manitoba universities).

    Moreover, Dr Poff does not agree that faculty at BU should have workloads equivalent to our colleagues at the Universities of Manitoba and Winnipeg (and elsewhere throughout the country). Nor will she accept collegial involvement in the design and operation of policies that impact the workplace environment at Brandon University.

    Then it was on to the pension plan deficit. The plan, like most in Canada, saw a significant decline in assets of 16.7% in 2008, but recovered dramatically in 2009 and 2010 with 16.8 and 11.2% gains respectively. We have confidence in the plan’s investment managers Conners, Clark and Lunn to end this year close to break-even or to be in a slightly better position. We believe these three year results will have a significant impact on the solvency ratio.

    We ask our colleagues, students and friends to ask the Board of Governors what is the real reason for an attempt on the part of Dr Poff and her team to generate and set aside large surpluses over the next three years for their discretionary use. For example, could it be that there is a cash-flow problem emerging with the Healthy Living Centre, with delays in government funding and a dismal fundraising effort to this point?

    BUFA Bargaining Team



  • Little Progress in BU Mediation.

    Efforts to reach a mediated settlement in the on-going dispute between Brandon University and the Brandon University Faculty Association (BUFA) have produced little or no results, negotiators for the Faculty Union confirmed this morning.

    "We came to this process in good faith, fully prepared to negotiate all of the outstanding issues between us," said BUFA President and Chief Negotiator, Joe Dolecki. "We question the Employer's commitment to the success of this process."

    Mediation began in Winnipeg on Tuesday afternoon, following the appointment of Mr. Michael Werier as Mediator by the Provincial Government at BUFA’s request. BUFA has been on strike since October 12.

    Dolecki noted that, ‘After two days of mediation, the Employer has increased its salary offering by a grand total of 0.15% in the third year of the proposed contract. They have rejected nearly all of our initiatives on the outstanding language issues, each of which have an impact on the university’s ability to deliver programmes and service student needs.’

    ‘Regrettably, what we are witnessing is reckless intransigence on the part the President and the BU Board of Governors,’ Dolecki stated.

    ‘After unilaterally cancelling homecoming, they are now needlessly placing the academic term in jeopardy, despite the President’s public assurances to the contrary,’ he said.

    ‘Unfortunately, neither the President nor the Board seem concerned about the potential for the short, intermediate, and long-term damage to our university and students that may result from their actions,’ he concluded.

    A mediation session is scheduled for this afternoon.

    For further information contact:
    Joe Dolecki, BUFA President 727-9749
    Bill Paton, BUFA Secretary 727-1000



  • BUFA MEDIATION UPDATE. BUFA bargaining team

    Mediation between BUFA and the Employer began on Tuesday, October 25 at 4:30 pm with Mr Michael Werier of D’arcy and Deacon LLP presiding as Mediator. The two sides convened in separate boardrooms with the Mediator shuttling between the parties. BUFA spent more than an hour articulating our position on all outstanding issues to the Mediator. Included in this was a detailed presentation of the presence of surpluses in approved BU budgets and the Employer’s strategy of utilizing them to address their present pension and other obligations, and weaning off surpluses to address their obligations over the next two fiscal years.

    On Wednesday BUFA presented a comprehensive and revised proposal on all outstanding issues. Our offer was designed to put an end to the dispute while maintaining our principled insistence on a fair and equitable settlement for BUFA members. After spending two hours discussing the proposal with the Employer, the Mediator returned with the appended hand-written note, reasserting the Employer’s October 21st all-or-nothing position, with the following exceptions. Their year 3 salary position was raised from 2.75% to 2.9%, and they offered a fourth year at 2.9%. The offer also contained a $750 back-to-work payment for each member, which represents approximately 20% of the roughly $875000 that the Employer has saved on our salaries and benefits during the job action (to Thursday, October 28). They proposed to keep the remaining 80% for their own use.

    In our offer to the Employer, we also proposed that if the annual pension liability payment fell below $3.125 million during any year of the contract, the Employer would apply the difference to the pension liability. For example, if the payment fell to $2.6 million, the Employer would be obliged to commit $525000 to the pension problem. We asserted that this mechanism would address the Employer’s concern about the ongoing deficiency payments of the plan. We were unsettled by their response. They rejected our proposal and stated that their emerging priority was rather to fill unidentified, vacant administrative positions.

    It is the view of the negotiating team that this counter-proposal represents an attempt to subvert the mediation process.

    BUFA is spending the morning preparing for today’s meeting, and will be back at Mediation this afternoon. We are hopeful that today the Employer will be willing to engage in more substantive negotiations.

    The BUFA bargaining team.



  • Letter of Support. ABPPUM

    Notre administratrice à la Caisse de défense de l'ACPPU, également vice-présidente externe, Linda Lequin, se rendra vendredi à Brandon avec un appui moral et financier (1 000 $) de l'Association des bibliothécaires, professeures et professeurs de l'Université de Moncton (ABPPUM).

    D'autres visites et appuis financiers sont prévus dans l'éventualité où la grève perdurerait.

    Our CAUT Defence Fund Trustee and Vice-President Internal, Linda Lequin, will also participate in a Flying Picket on Friday in support of the Brandon University Faculty Association.  Linda Lequin will present a donation cheque on behalf of l'Association des bibliothécaires, professseures et professeurs de l'Université de Moncton (ABPPUM) in the amount of $1,000.

    Other visits and financial support will follow should our colleagues need it in the coming weeks.

    ABPPUM   Ensemble, nous sommes plus forts !



  • Letter of Support. Jean Manore, President, APBU

    The Association of Professors of Bishop's University will be sending a cheque for $500.00 to support the BUFA in their continuing struggle for a fair settlement in these negotiations.

    Jean Manore

    President, APBU
    Professor, History
    Bishop's University



  • Letter of Support. Leslie Jermyn, Vice-Chair, Units 3 and 4, CUPE 3902

    CUPE 3902 representing Contract Academics at the University of Toronto is honoured to contribute $1000 to the Brandon University Faculty Association in solidarity with their strike action. We appreciate your struggle to ensure fair and equitable working conditions for your members we are with you.

    In solidarity,

    Leslie Jermyn
    Vice-Chair Units 3 and 4
    CUPE 3902
    email: [email protected]

    Office address:
    180 Bloor St W, Suite 803
    Toronto, Ontario
    M5S 2V6
    tel: 416-593-7057



  • Letter of Support. Alvin Comiter, FUNSCAD President

    The Faculty Union of the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design, a small but mighty Union, has just sent a cheque for $500 in support of the Brandon University Faculty Association strike. Our hearts and money are with you. We may be next.

    In solidarity,

    Alvin

    Alvin Comiter
    FUNSCAD President
    NSCAD University
    5163 Duke Street
    Halifax, Nova Scotia B3J 3J6



  • Letter of Support. Gyllian Phillips, President, Nipissing Universty Faculty Association

    The Nipissing University Faculty Association executive has unanimously approved support in the form of $500 and also in the forms of solidarity and shared outrage at the employer's tactics. Tough time for labour but it's great to see FAs sticking together.

    Best wishes,

    Gyllian Phillips

    President, Nipissing Universty Faculty Association



  • Letter of Support. Sandra Altwerger, President, OCADFA

    The OCAD University Faculty Association (OCADFA) will donate $500.00 to the BUFA strike fund in support of their efforts to get a fair contract for their membership.

    We are in contract negotiations as well at this time (our second year without a contract) and know the difficulty in getting fair working conditions.

    Sincerely,

    Sandra Altwerger

    Sandra Altwerger, AOCA, MFA, B.Ed.
    Associate Professor, Faculty of Art,
    President, OCADFA




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