By Andru McCracken
Both Administration and the Faculty Association were at the bargaining table this week, but ultimately students were still not back to school by Tuesday, November 26 and it was unclear when they would go back.
Josh Reimer is in his fifth year at UNBC pursuing a Bachelor of Commerce with a double major in finance and accounting. He hails from Dunster, and we spoke to him when the strike just got underway.
Reimer has a lot on the line. It’s his last semester and he has a contract with an employer to begin work in January and the strike is wearing on him.
“It’s a terrible way to end my entire time at school. It’s my last semester; most of the last month is going to be waiting around in Prince George not knowing what is going on,” said Reimer. “It’s gone on quite a bit longer than was expected.”
Reimer said students have been getting regular emails from the president of UNBC Dan Ryan and in the latest one the president laid out what would happen
“The president made it clear they wouldn’t cancel the semester,” he said. “If the deal is done before next Monday, they will extend the teaching semester.”
That would be a relief for Reimer and other students who’ve been working hard until now, because they would cancel the two week exam period. Semester marks would determine student grades.
“That would be a good option,” he said. “That would take the stress load off.”
He said final exams are typically 40 to 50% of the grade.
The other option on the table is that if they don’t get a deal by Monday, the university would extend the teaching semester into January.
Reimer said that for him and other students going onto further education the strike is more than inconvenient.
The university is offering compensation for lost schooling, but only non-refundable financial credits prorated for the amount of time students have been out of school.
“What sucks about that is anybody not taking further classes, such as myself, won’t get a cash refund,” he said.
Reimer said he’s still not pro-teacher or pro-university despite the imposition.
He believes both sides need to be accountable for their actions.
On Monday, November 25, both sides said bargaining continued but no deal had been reached.