The UNB professors strike of 2014 stands out as one of the most trying periods in the university’s recent history and was listed by outgoing president Eddy Campbell as the worst experience in his professional career.
Although UNB administration and the Association of University of New Brunswick Teachers (AUNBT) had agreed to a truce over the exam period, the threat of a strike loomed large in early Dec., 2013 as professors demanded a 7 per cent increase in salary each year over two years while UNB countered with an increase of 1.5 per cent per year over a four year period.
With no resolution in sight upon students returning for the winter term, the UNBSU asked students to not pay their tuition until there was a guarantee that classes would continue past the first week. The strike officially began on Jan. 13, 2014, five days after the release of the photographed issue of the Bruns, when 550 faculty members walked off the job citing wages and working conditions.
The two sides reached a tentative agreement to suspend the strike and lockout approximately two weeks later on Jan. 30, with the AUNBT calling the deal a win for professors. The agreement saw the university’s professors receive a 2.5 per cent increase per year for two years.
With the strike in the rearview mirror, Eddy Campbell discussed the issue of rebuilding relationships and trust with faculty after the ‘nasty’ strike that included the faculties of arts, business, science and engineering passed motions of non-confidence in the administration, saying their confidence in university leadership was “shaken.”
“For some there are some bitter feelings left behind and I think we can do a better job of involving the faculty in the allocation of resources at the university and telling them more often what we’re up to.” said Campbell at the time.