VIU management letting students down

Re: LRB rejects VIU request on trades, April 2.

To the Editor,

Re: LRB rejects VIU request on trades, April 2.

Having been a unionized worker for nearly 30 years and a student for almost as long, I can empathize with all four sides:  Vancouver Island University instructors and management, both receiving an income of strike pay or salary, while holding support staff (who won’t cross picket lines, therefore, no strike pay or EI) and students (no income, high costs) for ransom.

Since it’s ultimately management’s job to run the university efficiently and they have not done so – otherwise there wouldn’t be a strike – may I suggest the following:

1. Instructors pay support staff the equivalent of CUPE’s strike pay out of their own strike pay.  Let’s admit it, instructor’s strike pay is most likely higher than most support staff’s regular salary.  If nothing else, instructors need support staff’s good will, and this will ensure that your exams get typed, etc.;

2. Management pay all students’ costs for their lost semester – travel, housing, tuition, student fees, and interest on their student loans – out of all the managers’ salaries. I see absolutely no reason that VIU should refund tuition fees out of the public trough when managers are clearly not doing their jobs well enough to avoid strike action.

When two groups of highly-educated, intelligent and highly-paid professionals (management and professors) can’t settle their differences without holding innocent and much less educationally- and financially-advantaged people to ransom, it’s only fair that those same highly educated, intelligent and well-paid professionals show some humanity and fairness to their victims while they continue their bickering.

Just one question: How are you going to justify or make up the income lost as a result of foreign countries taking VIU off their preferred lists?

Christel Martin