Mount Saint Vincent University faculty hit picket line

Professors, librarians seek parity with other N.S. universities

3 min read
Mount Saint Vincent University faculty picket line along Bedford Highway
caption Mount Saint Vincent University faculty walk a picket line Monday on the Bedford Highway.
Megan James

Faculty at Mount Saint Vincent University started walking the picket line Monday after they failed to reach a settlement agreement with the university.

Full-time faculty, librarians and lab instructors, 160 in total, are participating in the strike.  

More than 100 faculty members and students were present at the picket line on Monday.

Jeff MacLeod, spokesperson for the Mount Saint Vincent University Faculty Association, said in the news release announcing the strike that faculty is “seeking a fair and equitable settlement to ensure parity with other Nova Scotian and regional universities.”

The faculty also is asking to “advance decolonizing and equity, diversity, inclusion and accessibility (EDIA) efforts,” said MacLeod.

MSVU faculty were disappointed not to have reached an agreement without strike action, MacLeod said.

“The board of governors bargaining team has decided that they’re going to play hardball and not treat us equitably and fairly,” said MacLeod. “We’re not confrontational, but we’ve been pushed too far.”   

The university issued a statement Monday saying it was “disappointed” the two sides could not reach an agreement, despite having “agreed on numerous language items important to our faculty, librarians and lab instructors.”

Students joined faculty on the picket line. With their own signs, students showed their support for their professors.

April Grimm, a first-year English student, said she wanted to support faculty because of her connection with her professors.

 “I can tell you right now the professors impact my life more than the board of governors do,” she said.

MSVU strike supported by students, who made their own signs in support
caption Mackenzie Chisholm holds her Taylor Swift-inspired sign in support for the Mount Saint Vincent faculty strike on Monday.
Megan James

One student sign demanded the university “walk the walk” and agree to faculty demands.  

Anna Nobre, a fourth-year psychology student, said she wants the “board of governors to realize that our professors are worth it and that we need to go back to the classroom so we can have our education.”

Ansh Sachdev, an MSVU student not walking the picket line, said four of his five classes had been cancelled. Although he did not join the picket line, he agreed that the staff had the right to strike. 

In December, 97 per cent of faculty members voted in favour of the strike.

The last faculty strike took place in 1989.

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About the author

Megan James

Megan is a bachelor of journalism student from Enfield, Nova Scotia.

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