The following

Message to CAE members

went out earlier this evening:

Hello Everyone,

At this rather uncertain time I thought I would send along a message to clarify how a strike by the Full-time academic employees at UNB will impact the Contract Academic unit of AUNBT.

As you know, since we are two bargaining units under the umbrella group of AUNBT, we each have our own Collective Agreement (CA).  The negotiations for the CA pertaining to the Contract Academics at UNB were completed last summer.  We have been operating under a ratified agreement since then.  The negotiations for the Full-time CA have not, to date, met with a successful conclusion.  Because we presently have a valid CA, we are not in a position to strike with our Full-time colleagues. As Contract Academics we are bound to fulfill our contractual obligations as specified in our individual contracts and in our CA.  This means that we must continue to conduct our academic work as long as the university remains open, and it may mean that we have to cross the picket lines of our Full-time colleagues.  Although this may sound unsupportive of our brothers and sisters in AUNBT, it is our legal responsibility to meet our obligations.   The executive will emphasize to those on the picket lines (should it come to that) that we are obliged to cross over to teach our classes.  What we must not do is take over duties that were being fulfilled by a Full-time member.  For example, if you are teaching an introductory section of a course, and there is also a Full-time member teaching a section of the same course, you should not allow the Full-time member’s students to attend your classes.  There is one exception to your requirement to cross the picket line to fulfill your academic duties and this would be if you feel that crossing the picket line represents a threat to your personal safety.  I think this possibility is extremely remote but I would be remiss if I didn’t mention it.

Finally, in the eventuality of a strike, there is nothing to prevent the Contract Academics from showing their support of the Full-time members of AUNBT.  I would encourage you to help out at strike headquarters, walk the picket line with your colleagues, deliver coffee etc. etc.  Please contact the Job Action Committee reps for your campus for details about how you might be of help to the effort (contact info at If you have any issues or questions, please direct them to Jula Hughes at Finally, should there be a strike AUNBT will set up a dedicated strike web site and details will be posted at

Yours in solidarity

Wendy Bourque

Categories: Bargaining news, CAE members, Job action prep