UNBCFA Strike: Editor of Prince George Citizen Fears Contrary Opinion?

The faculty at three of UBC’s sister sister research-intensive universities in BC — UVic, SFU, and UNBC —  recently unionized and are in the middle of negotiating their first collective agreements.  The faculty at UNBC went out on strike last Friday to support their bid for a fair collective agreement.  UNBC faculty have anomalously low salaries relative to their comparator institutions across Canada.  The BC Government’s “mandate” approach to public-sector salaries will never address the structural problems in the case of UNBC salaries.

Neil Godbout, Managing Editor for the Prince George Citizen, a local newspaper, wrote an attack piece against the UNBCFA titled “Math doesn’t add up” on the weekend.  Being a mathematician, I found his finger-wagging over the math competency of a UNBC Professor of History quite amusing since Mr. Godbout clearly doesn’t understand the correct mathematical analysis needed to make his arguments. “Oops,” to quote Mr. Godbout.

Mr. Godbout also argues that people who live in northern BC should accept what I call a “northern discount” on their pay.

I wrote a Letter to the Editor in response, and sent it to the Prince George Citizen on Sunday.  It still hasn’t appeared and I have received no contact from the paper to confirm my identity, so I assume he is choosing not to publish my letter.  [Note at 4:10 p.m. on 10 March:  I just heard from Mr. Godbout that my letter will be published by the end of the week.  Apparently there is a queue for letters to the editor that is “first-come, first-served.”  I thank him for his response…..and I have some hope that he volleys back in print!]

So, I share it here:

BC’s research universities are creative engines that drive the innovation we need to diversify the provincial economy. A strong knowledge sector supports growth in other sectors of the economy, so UNBC plays a central role in the economic development of northern BC.

In less than 25 years, UNBC, a research university that provides a strong undergraduate education, has risen from an idea to one of the top universities in Canada in its class. This outstanding reputation is based on the excellent research, teaching, and community engagement of UNBC faculty members.  British Columbians should be proud of this accomplishment.

The faculty at UNBC will continue to produce research and to provide programs that will have a strong northern BC focus. UNBC faculty are motivated to explore the ideas that can shape government and business policy about northern BC. UNBC faculty will help attract and educate a key part of the workforce needed to build new knowledge-based industries in northern BC. As UBC has over the past 100 years, UNBC will grow to become a major economic driver for the province, particularly in the north.

To succeed, UNBC needs to attract and retain the kind of talented professors who will commit to spending their careers building the university. This means UNBC must address the pay gap that exists between it and its top competitors, or UNBC will begin to bleed faculty.

UNBC faculty members are simply asking for compensation and working conditions that match the high level of commitment they have made to grow UNBC into an exceptional university.

The editor of this newspaper has suggested that faculty at UNBC should accept lower salaries than faculty at comparable universities. Indeed, his arguments imply that the citizens of Prince George should expect lower wages just because they live in Prince George. Northern British Columbians should reject any notion of a “northern discount” on their pay.

Oh, and as a mathematician, I must point out that the editor’s “grade 7 arithmetic” approach to calculating average salaries is incorrect. Suppose you have a business with one manager who makes $100 per hour and 9 employees who make $10 per hour. Their average wage is not $55 per hour, but $19 per hour. Those of you making $10 per hour know very well what this means even if you don’t get the math.

Mark Mac Lean

President of the UBC Faculty Association

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4 Responses to UNBCFA Strike: Editor of Prince George Citizen Fears Contrary Opinion?

  1. Neil Godbout says:

    Letters to the editor are on a first-come, first-serve basis and you don’t get to butt in line. Should be published by the end of the week.

  2. Corinne says:

    Thanks for telling it as it is Mark. The UNBC faculty salary structure is broken, and we are wanting to be paid fairly, in particular to receive salaries in line with faculty at other universities that are deemed comparable in size and mission. We are passionate about our students, research, and northern community. Your letter is uplifting and is the buzz among many of us who have read it. Second week on strike and spirits are strong on the picket line. In solidarity.

  3. Mark Thomson Mac Lean says:

    I have been told that my Letter to the Editor appeared in the print version of the Prince George Citizen on Saturday, March 14th. It will appear online soon.

  4. You Know Who says:

    Neil Godbout is a crypto-Kalergi Plan WEF disinformation/rabble-rousing/data-collecting stooge – one of tens of thousands across the globe.

    His contempt for ‘the goyim’ is barely suppressed, but occasionally can’t help himself from getting a haughty dig in – not that the Uber-Woke of Prince George would ever recognize it.

    Prince George is corrupt to the core via ‘Globalist’ shilling and rampant nepotism.
    The local RCMP have had an international drug smuggling operation since the late 80’s, with its tentacles across all of BC and jumping over to southern Ontario.

    Former 1995 mayoral candidate Thomas A. Steadman could not wait to vamoose PG for Muskoka County after losing the race, despite his tv ads of “I am the moral fiber PG needs to weave the community together.” Mmmp!

    His next “non-profit organization” in Muskoka was entitled “Wheelchairs for Poor Colombians”, in which he would charter cargo planes to fly “used wheelchairs” down to Colombia, South America, for the cartel victims.

    Go on.

    Mr. Steadman’s best buddy and ‘business partner’ was RCMP Sgt. John Ollinger.
    A man well-capable of many unscrupulous behaviours – as I can personally attest to having suffered his abuses for many, many years.

    Mr. Steadman had a “police escort for security”.
    Of course he didn’t name names, but we can all connect the dots here.

    It always struck me odd, that these PG cops and their lower-tier government and municipal workers could afford multiple multi-million dollar properties and all sorts of high end toys. It took decades of research to uncover the reason, though no one is interested. It’s the metaphorical equivalent of asking RCMP to investigate themselves, or Pablo Escobar to fire minions for not face-skinning victims efficiently.

    Ollinger inserted himself into my life because of the ego of his buddy Steadman.

    When discovering Tommy Boy was running for mayor in 1995, ‘someone’ went on a ‘smear campaign’, which wasn’t so much of a smear as it was enlightening the public that a criminal cad was running for office. But then, they are all at every level, aren’t they.

    Without divulging too much information and giving myself away (in court of law……….Mr. Ollinger and Mr. Steadman – should they ever read this – know full well who I am), this pair embarked on a life-long crusade of ruination. I was tortured physically and psychologically for half my life, as there are gung-ho recruits quick to take up the mantle for their schadenfreude crusade of Uber Zersetzung.

    But no one cares.

    It’s some small consolation that the pair of them won’t be around much longer, at that all their criminal, abhorent behaviour, all their scheming and manipulations and acquiring ill-gotten wealth – is all for naught.

    When old age and organ failure creeps up, it may occur to them that perhaps they should be nicer human beings in life instead of self-centred dopamine hit junkies, stroking their swollen egos right up to the very end.

    But likely not.
    They – and their ‘friends’ – are human vermin.

    They would have made wonderful dictators if luck had gone their way. They both had the capacity for crocodile smile despotism.

    Neil Godbout was in the thick of it. But then they all are in BC and their extended family in southern Saskatchewan and southern Ontario. Note that all of them in PG hail from – or are descendants of those from – SK and Ont. No where else.
    Most curious.

    These fine folks are proud to accelerate the destruction of all nation states for a supranationalist religious/politico entity. In return for their betraying their countrymen, country, and humanity itself, they are renumerated handsomely – in comparison to their downtrodden sheep neighbours.

    In a word: Whores.

    Filthy, unscrupulous, lying, manipulating, entitled, hypocritical whores.

    Their descendants will never know what they did, and the horrible destruction they caused for future generations. They don’t care about that, and no amount of explanation will ever turn their eyes into the darkness that should have a soul.

    Godbout and his cronies are quisling scum. Plain and simple.


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