Daily News Roundup

As the strike deadline approaches, the bargaining team is hard at work trying to get a last-minute deal. Those of us for whom bargaining is a spectator sport feel a bit cut-off from the action today. Predictably, bargaining has gone underground and we are getting no more than sporadic and rather cryptic messages. On days like this, what keeps us going is knowing that we have the best possible bargaining team supported by an amazing group of volunteer researchers.

Despite the sparse bargaining news, it has not been a slow news day for AUNBT members. Between writing to you just after midnight last night and writing this around 8 pm tonight, much has happened. Before we get into all of that, here are two important updates:

The phone number for Fredericton strike headquarters is 454-1900, and for Saint John Strike Headquarters it’s 633 -0450.

The folks involved in organizing the pickets strongly suggest that you bring a thermal beverage container to the picket line with you. Not only will that be better for the environment than Styrofoam cups, but drinks will stay warm longer.

On to the updates:

We received clarification that travel insurance is included in the extension of benefits negotiated yesterday. So even if you are coming home and then have to leave again during a strike or lock-out, your coverage will continue. The information about benefits can be found at

We also received from management a notice of a change in approach to people on leave. A separate information circular has gone out about that. You can find it on our website at There are still outstanding questions about the timing of any notice to continue leave and some other details. We will keep you posted, but you might wish to delay giving notice of any intention to continue your leave until the next update.

There are still no answers on what will happen to courses taught by CAEs, nor is there an answer about courses that are co-taught by CAEs and FT members. This is despite several follow-up messages to management.

There is an update on the effects of the email cut-off. This was also circulated earlier today. If you have not yet seen it, here is what it said: we have had some verbal clarification of the email shut-off issue and if we understand correctly, the situation seems to have taken a turn for the worse. Our current understanding is that any email sent during a strike or lockout to the UNB email address of a striking member would not be received by UNB. The sender would receive a generic bounce-back message.

We have written to the President and the academic VPs to urge reconsideration, but have not yet received any response.

Both the Fredericton and Saint John picket rosters have been sent out via email. The Fredericton mailing was later than we expected because of the volume of email traffic. Apologies to everyone, especially Brian, who had it ready this morning. If you need to contact us because of a necessary scheduling change, please do so for Fredericton. Full contact information will be posted to the website tomorrow. The picket organizers beg your forgiveness in advance if their messages to you are brief or even terse. There is a lot of volume. They have asked me to convey their appreciation for your patience and expect to respond to rescheduling requests over the course of tomorrow. We will not be posting updated rosters; just look for changes in your email.

We are working on a solution for enabling you to get alternative email contact information out to your networks; more details to follow tomorrow.

One of the most remarkable things today was receiving member emails, copied to AUNBT, on why cutting off our email would be catastrophic to the core academic mission of a university. These eloquent messages demonstrated once again the range of inspiring activities and communities colleagues are engaged in (from personal invitations to invite-only international workshops to journal editors, conference conveners to graduate student mentors). Let’s hope that our administration will respond appropriately.

On a more personal note, we heard from many people today who appreciated getting updates, by email, through Facebook and Twitter and on the phone. Your kindness has been balm to my tired fingers.  If you like, you can follow AUNBT on Twitter @aunbtweeter and me @julahughes.


Jula Hughes
Job Action Information

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Categories: Bargaining news, Job action prep

One Comment on “Today’s”

  1. I <3 UNB professors
    January 12, 2014 at 9:06 pm #

    As a UNB graduate student who is on the bring of graduating, I am saddened by the emails and updates that the administration is publishing. I have been at UNB since the first year of my undergrad, and was hoping to go on to a PhD at UNB. Seeing the way the UNB administration is treating the most educated, I have decided to look for options elsewhere. I hope to teach once finished my PhD, and unfortunately the UNB administrations support for professors is horrible.
    Lastly, I must say….its funny to see the administration of UNB try to use their ‘research’ and analysis to prove their point… and good researcher knows that the data used in making an argument should be made available to others in order to validate it…I guess only the professors understand this concept..