Some VIU faculty cross picket lines -

Some VIU faculty cross picket lines

University begins offering students tuition refunds


At least three Vancouver Island University instructors are back teaching students, despite an ongoing faculty strike. One of the members who decided to cross the picket line told the Nanaimo Daily News anonymously that they are returning to work because they are concerned about the welfare of their students.

VIU Faculty Association president Dan McDonald says that even though some faculty  are returning to the classroom, he is confident in the union’s collective bargaining strategy. “While some members have decided to return to work, it’s just a few and it’s not the beginning of a flood of people who intend to do the same,” he said.

VIU spokesperson Toni O’Keefe said students will receive full credit for courses taught by instructors who have returned to work. O’Keefe also said that the ongoing negotiations with the faculty union are starting to see progress. “We’re now having face-to-face meetings instead of both sides being in separate rooms during the talks, so we’re feeling cautiously optimistic that we’re close to an agreement,” she said.

The university has begun accepting requests for full tuition refunds if students can demonstrate financial, medical or other hardship. If the strike continues past April 11, refunds will be granted upon request.

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Some VIU faculty cross picket lines

  1. I think that it is very inapropriate that a few so called brothers or sisters would cross the line after everything that everyone involved has sacrificed thus far including the fellow unions {whom honor the line} aswell as the students whose future intrests are part of the equatiion. I am sure that when this dispute is ratified that the scab-like action of these instructors will not be forgotten or forgiven

  2. There’s been a bit of mix-up between the terms “members” and “instructors” in this article. According to other reports the three are not actually members of the VIU Faculty Association.

    VIU has a “Rand formula” contract with the faculty association. Everyone who is eligible to be a member must pay dues, but noone is required to belong to the association.

    Personally I applaud these three for putting their students first. While the union has no ability to officially sanction them for their actions there must still be tremendous peer pressure on them to toe the union line.

    If the dispute is not resolved in time to hold classes by Monday the semester can not be completed on time and students will have difficult decisions to make about carrying on with their studies into May or getting a tuition refund and writing off the whole semester.

    If only the union members could cut through the BS their executive is feeding them and realize how little truth there actually is in the fable of administrative ogres out to crush the union, slash and burn programs and hide their finances like it was a CIA “black-op”.

  3. I think either ALL students should be back at school or NONE. I don’t find it at all fair or helpful that 3 instructors have returned to work only allowing a handful of students the opportunity to get back to school!!!

  4. @ appalled……”scab-like action of these instructors will not be forgotten or forgiven”….. nice – it’s this type of sentiment that has so many of us having the warm and fuzzies towards unions.

  5. @apalled – your clear lack of ability for spelling is appalling. Go back to school.

  6. I find it very hard to understand how this strike is for the long term benefit of the students. If it is, the union should make their position clear so people like me (a student) could support it. As it stands the virtual blackout of negotiation coverage is not winning them any fans! I also applaud the instructors that are back at work, thanks to them for thinking of the students who really cannot afford to write off a whole semester.

  7. I find extremely upsetting that some students will receive education while the rest of us, whose proffessors have decided not to return to work, have no choice but to sit around and wait to return to school.why is it ok that a few students will get their education while the rest do not. It is all terribly frusturating

  8. These teachers may want to hide their identity, but there is a name for someone who crosses a picket line: “scab.”

  9. “toe the union line.”

    By that you mean faculty defending the quality of post-secondary education? They aren’t even asking for money!