To the Editor,
Re: VIU students fear for their future, March 24.
VIU faculty are not striking for more pay. We previously accepted a zero-per cent wage raise for this negotiated two-year contract. The faculty are not withholding their services for personal gain.
The present situation has administration forcing approximately 10-per cent reduction in faculty, while the institution budget marginally increases.
The faculty are striking to achieve transparency in institutional decisions that affect course offerings.
We have been working without a contract for 12 months. During those 12 months, all attempts to discuss financial and administrative disclosure regarding changes in course offerings have been rebuffed by the new administration.
Several times during my 16 years at VIU, I have had issue with both sides during contract negotiations. The difference this time is that the new administration of VIU appears to behave as though this university is a business.
The president of VIU, Ralph Nilson, is the first president with a CEO title. Public education is not a business and it never will be. It is an obligation of society to its youth.
The faculty have always been about the students. We will always be about the students.
We are on strike because we want to be aware of how decisions affecting students are made. Our perspective over the past few years leads us to believe the students, both present and future, are ill served by the direction of the present administration.