UNB nursing students say strike could derail career plans

Future RNs worry about clinical hours deadline


A five-day-old faculty strike at the University of New Brunswick has impacted students in ways big and small, from the cancellation of classes to not being able to pick up packages because unionized delivery workers won’t cross picket lines.

Now, final-year nursing students say that if it isn’t resolved in the next two weeks, it could mean they may not be able to write their Canadian Registered Nursing Exams on June 4, a requirement before they can work as RNs. If they miss that test, their next opportunity to write it would be in October. Future nurses are required to have 1,400 “clinical hours” before they write the test and the professors who oversee those hands-on experiences in hospitals, long-term care facilities, aboriginal reserves and elsewhere, are no longer working. At UNB, clinical hours must be completed by Feb. 28 in order to write the June exam.

“Not only does it impact on the new grads who can’t enter the workforce,” says James Smith, president of the UNB Nursing Students’ Union, “the community is looking for these new grads.”

The dispute is partly over compensation. The university has offered a 9.5 per cent pay increase over four years but the professors want more. The Canadian Association of University Teachers reported that full-time UNB faculty were paid $102,144 on average in 2010-11, making them 31st highest paid out of 58 schools.

The UNB Students’ Union said it is concerned all students could lose their semester if the strike goes on too long or that students who have leases ending in April or jobs lined up could be hurt.

UNB president Eddy Campbell was rebuffed this week when he asked Premier David Alward for legislation that would force professors back to work.


UNB nursing students say strike could derail career plans

  1. Ridiculous and selfish! They do not make as high of salaries as other universities since they also don’t have comparable living expense. It’s definetly greed and in the long run hurting the students who need to pay for the subsequent tuition increases.

  2. Given that UNB has an agreed 14-university comparison group and that faculty salaries stand LAST for EVERY RANK, is it really “ridiculous and selfish” that they should want comparable pay for comparable work? What is ridiculous is that the university president is keeping students from their classes by indulging the fantasy of government intervention rather than bargaining seriously.

    • But UNB made an offer of 9.5% so it is the Union who is NOT negotiating isn’t it? If the Union made a counter offer and nothing came back in reply from UNB then you could accuse UNB of not bargaining seriously. I think the problem is your Union leaders are 1960s style extremists out of touch with reality and (if you will notice) also NOT on the picket lines with you in the freezing cold. What a brilliant move – calling a strike in the coldest part of winter!

  3. From what I have heard, the UNB profs want to be paid the average of their group. This magazine lists them as #4 in their class but their pay is at the bottom. Faculty are hired from a national pool; how is UNB going to be able to compete for good people? As for living expenses, I live in N.B. and while housing is cheaper, nothing else is: food, heating, power, gas, travel. Not to mention property taxes, which are through the roof. People retiring here are faced with the same or higher expenses as everyone else, with a lot less equity in their houses.

  4. It is unfortunate that people keep repeating a 9.5% figure without telling us what it is. Is it per year for 4 years? Is it out of 100K or out of the base salary of an assistant prof (around 60K)? Has UNB made it into a firm offer, or is it a ploy? What exactly is AUNBT asking for? See for yourself:

  5. Student Hardships Due to UNB Strike

    Rather than UNB students getting consumed in what UNB is offering and what AUNBT is asking for, showing a satisfaction or lack thereof of, of the numbers that are confusing even to economists, why not consolidate their voices to convince the UNB president (Mr. Campbell) to get back to the negotiating table (since right now it is in his hands to give his negotiating team a mandate to negotiate, and AUNBT is ready on a moment’s notice)? This is imperative for many reasons, one of which is avoidance of extension of the semester and its impact on student loans, student Summer work, among a number of other things.
    1) If the semester is extended, students with a loan to cover their expenses for around 4 months will have to last them for longer, thus causing living expense hardships.

    2) Some students on the student loan program will have a shorter Summer to work, thus will save less money for the year after.
    3) Some students will be on a work term starting around May 1, 2014. If the term is extended, they will have to work and write exams at the same time. This is counter productive and maybe difficult for many, and students could lose their summer jobs.

    UNB president should be thinking of how much of a hardship this is causing students, and to stop trying to make and save money off the backs of students, professors, and support staff.

    • @cbcfan stop spamming every piece about the strike with the same cut and paste comments. Doesn’t AUNBT have a less obvious way of trying to garner public support? Ya’ll are learned professors, try and be a little more creative.

      • My apology, I did not realize I was replying to different people in a discussion with a saved file (same message).
        I DO NOT represent any union. I speak on behalf of myself and my children who want to get back to their classes. I am entitled to express my opinion (just like you) and I lay the blame on Mr. Campbell as he is the boss of the university.