This is exciting and nothing I bargained for when I bargained for the Writer-in-Residence job at the University of New Brunswick, but it seems possible/probable (you never know with negotiations) that the faculty bargaining unit at the university will go on strike tomorrow. At noon, I think. As Writer-in-Residence, I am betwixt and between; I am not a member of the bargaining unit and thus am not going on strike. But, of course, Mark Jarman and Rob Gray (NC at the Movies), my roomies on Waterloo Row, and many other friends will be on the picket line.
I have been getting emails and instructions. (And, really, I may have some of this wrong.) It seems that if the strike proceeds, the university email system will shut down (at noon). I am getting a flurry of emails from colleagues sending me alternate email addresses. This got me excited; I started sending out alternate email addresses myself. I’m going underground.
I’ve been instructed that, though the faculty is on strike, my classes will continue (this was a general instruction to non-faculty faculty, temporary instructors, etc.). This doesn’t really affect me since I don’t conduct classes; I only have meetings with students and members of the public in my office on campus. I was also told that I should be able to cross the picket line without any trouble but that I didn’t have to cross the picket line if I felt threatened or in danger. There is a lengthy instruction sheet about this. I have visions of large scale labour violence based on too many Hollywood movies. The video at the top is from John Sayles Matewan. The one below is the trailer for The Molly Maguires.
I mean my humour here to be gently ironic and not disrespectful. I am mostly surprised at the turn of events. I used to belong to a journalists’ union when I worked at the Montreal Star (in ancient times), and I recall the pleasant sense of security it gave me to be affiliated with a large group of people and colleagues who took my working rights seriously. I wish all my friends well.
Here is Rob’s Twitter feed.
And here is his Facebook wall.
Here’s the AUNBT Facebook Page (a good place for keeping up).
Here’s the AUNBT site.
And here’s the Community Support Page on Facebook.