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.