UNBC supports an environment in which productive and respectful labour relations are facilitated and conducted in order to ensure that faculty and staff can play their critical roles with respect to education delivery in the North. These webpages are designed to provide general information and answer some of the key questions that faculty, senior laboratory instructors, librarians, part-time instructors, students, staff, and the general public may have.

Visit this page for the latest official University statements and other relevant information. More information and perspectives are available through the Faculty Association.

An update regarding food services workers

October 14, 2018

Over the weekend, the union agreed to restrict picket locations in the event of labour action. This does not necessarily mean that job action will occur.

Picket locations will be permitted at the following locations:

  • The three outside entrances off the Agora Courtyard (the one near the dining hall, and the two sets of doors near the Canfor Winter Garden).
  • The doors into the Canfor Winter Garden’s upper level.
  • The McCaffray Hall loading bay – the Union’s intent is to stop vehicles making deliveries to Chartwells. They will stand down their pickets for other vehicles. 

UNBC employees are expected to be at work as it is not necessary to cross a picket line. The University expects classes to continue as per the normal schedule.

In the event of job action, Chartwells is prepared to offer food services to those who use the meal plan:

  • Food service delivery will depend on the extent of job action.
    • Food service operations for those on the meal plan will continue.
    • Operations may be reduced to limited times.
    • Stackers Deli and Tim Horton’s may be closed.
  • UNBC will provide pro-rated reimbursement to people who pay for the meal plan. Again, this depends on the extent of disruption.
  • Catering will be provided for functions that have already booked services.

We understand the two entities continue to negotiate; the University urges the parties to come to an agreement that can avoid service disruption for our students and employees.


Past Updates

October 6, 2018

On Friday Oct. 5, 2018, UNBC learned that the union representing food service workers at UNBC (UNITE HERE! Local 40) has provided official 72-hour strike notice to the employer, Chartwells. This means the employees will be in a legal position to strike at 3:16 p.m. on Monday Oct. 8.

Does this mean that there WILL be a strike at that time? Not necessarily. Regardless, the University must prepare for the eventuality that a strike COULD occur at that time.

Food Services

  • UNBC is prepared for disruption in food service delivery.
  • Food service delivery will depend on the extent of job action.
    • Food service operations for those on the meal plan will continue.
    • Operations may be reduced to limited times, and Stackers and Tim Horton’s may be closed.
    • UNBC will reimburse people who pay for the meal plan on a pro-rated basis.
  • Catering services will be provided for functions that have already booked services.
    • No new services will be booked while a strike is in effect.

Picket lines

  • We have made it clear to the union that a picket line across main entrances to UNBC is not acceptable. We will seek appropriate action from the Labour Board should the union engage in this type of activity.
  • We provided four options for picket line locations; three outside entrances off the Agora Courtyard (the one near the dining hall, and the two sets of doors near the Canfor Wintergarden) and the doors into the Canfor Winter Garden’s upper level.
  • UNBC employees are expected to be at work as long as picket lines are not set up at the main entrance to campus and employees can be at their work space without crossing a picket line.
  • If a full-scale picket line is erected at the main entrance Tuesday morning, exempt employees are still expected to come to work. Transit buses will not cross picket lines, but they will likely set up temporary stops on University Way near the entrance.

Some are calling on the University to take action during the Chartwells labour negotiations. It’s inappropriate for the University to do so, as the negotiation process is between two third parties. While we value Chartwells’ food service workers, it is important to know that they are not UNBC employees. B.C.’s Labour Relations Code clearly lays out that the responsibilities for collective bargaining rest with the certified bargaining agent for the employees (UNITE HERE! Local 40) and the employer (Chartwells). Given UNBC is neither of those parties, it’s inappropriate to get involved in the collective bargaining process.

That said, UNBC urges the parties to remain at the bargaining table and hopes that an agreement will be found that can avoid service disruption for our students and employees.