University of Northern British Columbia officials remained hopeful Friday a contract will be reached with the university's faculty association without a strike.
"We're making progress, we continue to negotiate," Rob van Adrichem, UNBC's vice president of external relations, said.
Talks were held on Wednesday and Thursday with three more articles signed off and further talks are scheduled for this coming Wednesday, Thursday and Friday.
Agreement has been reached on nearly all of the contract language issues but the most contentious one - compensation - remains on the table.
On that item, UNBC is required to meet the provincial government's economic stability mandate. According to a Ministry of Finance website post, employers have the "ability to negotiate longer-term agreements within a fixed fiscal envelope."
But if the province's real gross domestic product turns out to have grown one per cent greater than what has been forecast, public sector employees receive a half-per cent wage increase above what has been negotiated in the contract.
"There are certain things that the university can bargain, and we have done that... and we're at an issue now where the university is constrained," van Adrichem said. "I think it's important for people to know that."
The faculty association must give 72 hours notice before members can go on strike and, as of late Friday afternoon, no notice was issued.
Even if it is issued, van Adrichem said faculty association members could still pursue other types of job action.
If picket lines do go up, van Adrichem said the university will remain open although no classes will be delivered.
"Students could still come, they could go to the library, they could work on papers, so the university would not close," van Adrichem said.
Canadian Union of Public Employees members will likely honour picket lines although staff providing essential services will remain on the job, van Adrichem said.
Van Adrichem is recommending students go to unbc.ca/faculty-relations for the latest updates.
The faculty association's website is at