Teachers Unions Win Arbitration in Dispute against Northwest Community College
An arbitration board has ruled in favor of two teacher’s unions representing faculty at Northwest Community College in Terrace, British Columbia, finding that the administration of the school improperly laid off faculty in violation of the collective agreement reached between the unions and the school. It further found that the agreement had been violated in the treatment of individual teachers, who are now able to pursue individual relief if they so choose.
The layoffs were designed to ease financial struggles at the college, but have instead added to that financial burden through not only the cost of arbitration, but the potential for lawsuits going forward from aggrieved teachers. The Federation of Post-Secondary Educators (FPSE), one of the unions representing teachers at NWCC, claims they strongly advised the administration of the school to approach layoffs in accordance with the agreement in place, but that the administration refused to abandon their course.
The layoff notices were issues in 2012. It has taken more than a year for the case to find its way through the arbitration process, ending in complete victory for the teacher’s unions. The school administrators could not be reached for comment.