International News Desk

At Home: Sex-attacks at UBC Campus
Around the World: UK University Staff on Strike

At Home: Sex-attacks at UBC Campus
The Globe and Mail reports on the sex-attacker that is believed to be responsible for six recent sex assaults on the UBC campus. Unfortunately, the size of the campus, some 400-hectares, much of which is forest, is hindering the search for the suspect. Also making things more difficult is that the campus itself is somewhat isolated, being 10km away from downtown Vancouver.

Security is, of course, at a very high level currently, with security guards at the main residences and school staff now available to accompany students walking at night, but students at the campus are still nervous, and have adjusted their activities in response to the attacks.

Around the World: UK University staff on Strike
Alberta is not the only place that university personnel are feeling the crunch. The BBC reports that both support staff and the lecturers at several UK universities are planning to go on strike as they say their pay has failed to keep up with rising living costs and that a 1% pay offer is not acceptable.

Unions say that the rejected 1% pay offer represents a 13% pay cut in real terms since 2009. Students are already starting to be affected by the strike as many university libraries have been closed due to lack of staff, and some universities have cancelled all teaching during the strike.

University employers, on the other hand, are saying that fewer than 5% of the total higher education workforce had chosen to vote for strike action, and that “The vast majority of staff think this is a fair offer. No pay levels in any sector have kept pace with inflation.”

While we haven’t seen action of this type taking place in Alberta, yet, it is known that the Alberta government is expecting 0% raises in upcoming negotiations, so how these strikes play out in the UK may be informative as to what we can expect here.