The faculty at Vancouver Island University gave 72 strike notice earlier this wek and the university has cancelled classes at the Nanaimo and regional campuses today. It is the first strike in this union's history.
Negotiations broke down earlier in the week. The faculty contract expired in March 2010, and looming budget cuts are expected to result in 60 layoffs and substantial program cuts. Meanwhile, the union asserts that funding to administrative positions has increased by 40%. Job security is a main issue and the faculty does not want to see any layoffs. The university claims they cannot do this within the funding freeze from the provincial government.
With the prospect of program cuts many students are supporting the faculty. At a rally on Wednesday, students showed support for faculty and expressed concerns that they would not be able to finish their degree is there were program cuts.