BUFA Announcements & Press Releases

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October 21, 2011
  • Letter of Support. Dr. Sandra Hoenle, University of Calgary

    I am thoroughly appalled by your employer's tactics of phoning faculty and students with what amounts to threats.

    I strongly support your strike to obtain a balanced workload of teaching and research, job security for sessionals, and fair compensation.

    In solidarity,
    Sandra Hoenle


    What’s happening in German? Check out our Facebook page!


    Dr. Sandra Hoenle
    Dept of Germanic, Slavic & East Asian Studies
    Undergraduate Advisor (German)
    University of Calgary

    Past President, Canadian Association of Teachers of German

    Mailing Address:
    University of Calgary, GSEA, CH C 205
    2500 University Drive NW
    Calgary, Alberta, Canada T2N 1N4

    Tel : 403.220.5301        Fax: 403.284.3810
    Email: shoenle@ucalgary.ca

  • Letter of Support. Jan Chaboyer, President, MGEU Local 135


    Hi All,

    Of course all of you are aware that our co-workers/colleagues are on strike.

    They are members of the faculty union, called BUFA, Brandon University Faculty Association that represents all the professors, faculty and teaching staff.

    Our local stands in solidarity with these workers. Their fight is our fight, and remember we go into bargaining soon, in the spring of 2012.

    First, it is your responsibility to your employer, Brandon University, to perform all your duties as usual, and at your usual times. This means that you have to cross the line to perform your job, you cannot be insubordinate, but do not do duties usually performed by BUFA members. That is their work, not yours!

    Second, having said all that I would encourage all of you to march in solidarity with them on your lunch hour, or after hours. That is your time, and is allowed.

    Third,  this Friday at 12:00 noon we will have a support picket walk with B.U.F.A.

    M.G.E.U. will provide you with a M.G.E.U. vest to wear on the line. MGEU will also provide complimentary pop and pizza for all that join the walk. We will meet outside the School of Music to get ready for our march.....please join us, these striking union members will appreciate your solidarity!

    If you would like borrow a M.G.E.U. vest please contact me.

    Jan Chaboyer, President

    MGEU Local 135

  • Letter of Support. Helen Pridmore, Mount Allison University

    Just wanted to extend good wishes and support from eastern Canada. We are thinking of you and we hope for the best in your ongoing negotiations. All best,
    In solidarity,
    Helen Pridmore

    Helen Pridmore, DMA
    Associate Professor of Music
    Mount Allison University
    (506) 364-2381

  • Letter of Support. Anver Saloojee, President, Ryerson Faculty Association

    Hi All,

    The Ryerson Faculty Association sent a message of solidarity to our colleagues in BUFA who are currently on strike.

    The RFA condemns in the strongest possible terms the attempts by the employer to break the strike by contacting BUFA members and urging them to cross the picket line. We are also deeply concerned that the employer has also advised students that they will be expected to attend any classes that are offered by strikebreakers.

    As a token of our solidarity and our support for all BUFA members who are on strike, the Ryerson Faculty Association will be sending a cheque for $1000 to the BUFA strike fund.

    Our best wishes to all BUFA members in their struggle.

    An injury to one is an injury to all.

    Anver Saloojee,
    Ryerson Faculty Association.

  • Letter of Support. Nancy Langton, President, UBC Faculty Association

    The Executive Committee of the UBC Faculty Association voted unanimously today to write a letter of support and send a $1000 cheque to our colleagues at Brandon for their efforts to achieve better working conditions and fair compensation.

    With our continuing support and best wishes,

    Nancy Langton

    President, UBC Faculty Association
    112, 1924 West Mall
    Vancouver, BC V6T 1Z2
    ph 604 822-2651

October 20, 2011
  • BUFA and Employer Positions on Salary.

    There has been a lot of talk in the media about the salary positions of BUFA and the Employer. The following table summarizes the movement of each of the parties on the salary scale over the three years of the contract. These figures do not account for any additional deductions resulting from proposed changes to the pension contribution amount.

    Date of proposal BUFA Salary Position Employer Salary Position
    opening 5%, 5%, 5% 0%, 0%, 2%
    Oct. 6 3.9%, 4.25%, 4.4%
    (BUFA made 1st offer in this session)

    0%, 0%, 2%
    (Employer made 2nd offer in this session, new package with no change to scale increases)
    Oct. 11/12

    3.5%, 3.8%, 4.0%
    (BUFA made 2nd offer in this session)
    0.5%, 1.0%, 2.75%
    (Employer made 1st monetary offer in this session, at the demand of BUFA)

    0.5%, 1.0%, 2.75%
    (Employer made a final offer in this session, with no change to scale increases)
    October 12, STRIKE BEGINS
    Oct. 17 2.9%, 3.0%, 3.25%
    (BUFA made 1st offer in this session)

    0.5%, 1.0%, 2.75%
    (new package with no change to scale increases)
    Oct. 21 0.5%, 1.0%, 2.75%
    (new package with no change to scale increases)
    Oct. 26 2.6%, 3.0%, 3.25%
    0.5%, 1.0%, 2.9% (2.9%)
    (4th year added to contract)
    Oct. 31 2.5%, 2nd year goes to arbitration, 2.9%

    2.4%, 2.0%, 3rd year goes to arbitration

    no counter offer

    0.5%, 1.0%, 2.9%
    or arbitrate any or all years
    Nov. 3 2.0%, 2.4%, 3rd year salary re-opener 0.5%, 1.0%, 2.9%
    (new package with no change to scale increases)
    MEDIATION ENDS Nov. 3. Talks continued between Nov. 3 and Nov. 16. We are legally bound not to reveal the contents of these discussions.
    Nov. 16 1.0%, 2.0%, 3.0%, 3.0%
    (fourth year added)
    Nov. 17 1.0%, 1.0%, 3.0%, 3.0%
    Total Cumulative Increase
    Over 4 Years (based on last offer)
    10.1% 9.0%

    A few points will be helpful in the interpretation of these values:

    1. The University receives an increase to its provincial operating grant of approximately 5% (in excess of $1.5 million) in each year of the contract. This was announced in April, 2011.
    2. For comparison, a 1% increase to the University's entire BUFA salary bill (including benefits) is worth approximately $224,000.
    3. Since last year, inflation has risen dramatically. For the year to October, 2011, Manitoba's CPI rose 3.0%. In contrast, from 2009 to 2010, it rose only 0.8%. The highest annual CPI increase from 2006 to 2010 was 2.3% in 2008.
    4. According to the latest data collected by the CAUT, the average salary for full-time university teachers at all ranks in Canada is $106,174; in Manitoba, $94,110; and at Brandon University, $89,829. Many BUFA members hold lower ranks than those included in CAUT's figures, so this is an overestimation of average BUFA member salaries.

  • An Open Letter to Brandon University Board of Governors from a BUFA Member. Dr. Peter Rombough, Brandon University

    October 13, 2011

    Members of the Brandon University Board of Governors

    Dear Board Members:

    I am writing to you in my capacity as a past-member of the 2008 Brandon University Presidential Search Committee. I was the Faculty of Science representative on the Presidential Search Committee (18 regular plus four ex officio members ) and one of four members chosen by the committee-as-a-whole to conduct preliminary interviews of short-listed candidates. The 2008 faculty strike occurred while this committee was conducting its search for a new President and the negative fallout that arose out of that strike was clearly on the minds of committee members. It was the virtually unanimous view of the Committee that the two most important tasks of any new President would be to: 1) improve labour relations at Brandon University (i.e. avoid another strike) and 2) operate the Administration of Brandon University in an open and collegial fashion so as to foster engagement by Faculty, Staff and Students (i.e. repair the damage of the previous strike). As things have unfolded, it would appear that we made a poor choice in our selection of a President for Brandon University. The Faculty are back on strike (failure in task #1) and the trust between the faculty and the administration are at an all time low (failure in task #2). 

    What is particularly unsettling is that this strike could easily have been avoided. From the Faculty perspective there were no major outstanding issues (unlike the 2008 strike where there were real concerns about the pension plan). There were differences on salary but that could have been worked out (it always is). The major difficulty is the attempt by the Administration to extensively re-write the Collective Agreement so as to effectively replace the current collegial model of faculty/university relations with a top-down, fear-driven one. This is not something that the Faculty will accede to without a fight. What has been particularly troubling during this round of negotiations is the apparent disdain the Administration holds for the Faculty- labeling us “inferior and second-rate”. This lack of respect for faculty is clearly shown by the attempt of the Administration to break the union by encouraging members to cross the picket line. Universities in Canada operate largely on a collegial model with faculty sitting on virtually every decision-making body in the institution. How well does the Administration think these committees will operate after it has gone out of its way to encourage divisions among faculty members? Even if the Administration “wins” in getting members to cross picket lines, it will lose in terms of engagement and cooperation. What Brandon University needs is a coming together, not a driving apart.

    A third prolonged strike will have devastating consequences for Brandon University. Students will move elsewhere. Student enrollment is already an issue- no increase in 25 years while enrollments at other universities have soared. Similarly, recruitment of faculty members will suffer. Faculty members want to teach and conduct their research, not walk the picket line. Why would the provincial government even consider establishing a medical school here if we’re always going on strike? I could go on, but I’m sure you are well aware of how badly the current situation could impact Brandon University. 

    I urge you, as a faculty member who has devoted 27 years of my working life to Brandon University, to act quickly to resolve this strike. The Board of Governors is ultimately responsible for the operation of the university. All it would take is a phone call from the Chair of the Board  to end this strike. I urge you to ensure that this happens. Remember that the President of Brandon University works for you, not the reverse!

    Yours sincerely, 

    Dr. Peter Rombough, Professor
    Department of Biology
    Brandon University

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