The union hoping to represent administrative, professional and technical workers at the University of New Brunswick has found an ally in the academic staff association in the ongoing battle over unionization efforts.
The 500 workers are in the process of signing up to be represented by the Public Service Alliance of Canada, but the university administration is being accused of trying to thwart the local union’s formation. The support workers are the only non-unionized employees on the university’s Saint John and Fredericton campuses.
David Shaw, Atlantic organizer for PSAC, told The Brunswickan that after cancelling rooms booked on campus for the drive and sending threatening letters to the organizing committee, UNB’s administration has now taken the position it’s illegal for sister campus union, the Association of University of New Brunswick Teachers, to allow the workers to sign union cards at their offices.
Last month, in an open letter to university president Eddy Campbell in support of the workers, AUNBT argued the administration is “unlawfully interfering with the right of employees to join a trade union if they so choose.”
“If you tell people that signing a union card on campus is an illegal act, you’re putting out misinformation,” said AUNBT president Jula Hughes, adding that she was astonished that such heavy-handed tactics would be used.
“Does it worry me that the employer I work for and the institution for whom I feel a lot of loy-alty and affection would behave this way? Yes, that worries me,” she said.
AUNBT’s letter urges the university administration to cease its interference and retract allegations that signing union cards on campus is illegal.
“No one wants to work for WalmartU,” Hughes said. “This is not how a public-service employer