Brandon University Faculty Association (BUFA) has been on strike since October 12th, 2011. BUFA represents both tenured faculty and non-tenured sessional instructors and is dealing with four main issues.
Quality of learning – BUFA's position is that there should be guaranteed replacements when members go on sabbatical to ensure continuity of program delivery. They are also resisting the Employer's attempts to expand the provision of online courses and distance delivery as a replacement for classroom teaching.
Job security – BUFA is fighting for higher wages, benefits, and job security for their sessional members, many who have PhDs and have been teaching the same courses for years.
Respectful environment – BUFA's position is that there should be transparency in the collection and maintenance of information such as that in personnel files, and greater openness, transparency and collegiality in decision-making.
Fair salaries – The employer is asking BUFA members to accept a decrease in inflation-adjusted earnings. This is despite the fact that all Manitoba universities will receive a 5% increase in funding in each of the next three years, that Brandon faculty salaries are $5,000 – $10,000 lower than their counterparts at the University of Winnipeg and University of Manitoba, and that the cost of living in Brandon is higher than it is in Winnipeg.
The issues BUFA is on strike for are issues that affect us all. Collegial self-governance and transparent decision-making is fundamental to a strong, vibrant and healthy university. The USFA Executive Committee voted to contribute $10,000 to the BUFA strike fund and last week sent representatives to Brandon to walk the picket lines as a show of support. They were joined by members from faculty associations from all over Canada including Newfoundland, Ontario, Quebec and Manitoba.
Send a letter of support to our striking brothers and sisters at Brandon (firstname.lastname@example.org ). Let them know you stand with them in their struggle to reach a collective agreement. They are on strike for all of us.