NSCAD may be one week away from a strike
Collective agreement not yet reached between faculty and university administration
February 13, 2019, 6:04 pm ADTLast Updated: February 14, 2019, 9:38 am
NSCAD University students may be facing cancelled classes as early as Feb. 20 after months of unsuccessful negotiations between faculty and university administration have reached an impasse.
The faculty union, composed of both full and part-time faculty and librarians, have been working without a contract since June 30, 2018.
The union and NSCAD administration held 18 bargaining sessions between Sept. 7 and Dec. 19.
According to a Jan. 28 press release from the Association of Nova Scotia University Teachers, 97.5 per cent of union members voted to authorize a strike, if final negotiations proved unsuccessful.
The union applied to the province for a conciliator to mediate talks between the two parties for three days. The mediation took place on Jan. 28, 30 and Feb. 6, but no agreement was reached. On the third day, the union requested the conciliator file a report to the provincial Minister of Labour and Advanced Education. The conciliator filed the report on Feb. 7, initiating the 14 day “cooling-off period” for both sides.
The union and NSCAD administration will meet one last time with the conciliator on Feb. 19. If no agreement is reached, the union will be in a legal position to strike, and the administration will be in a legal position to declare a lock out.
According to the union website, members accepted a wage increase in 2016 that was lower than the cost of living because of the university’s financial deficit. Since 2016, student enrollments have increased, and the university went from a deficit to a surplus, according to the NSCAD Annual Report 2017-2018.
Both the administration and the union are legally required to give the 910 students attending the university 48 hours notice before a strike or a lock out.
Both NSCAD administration and the union were contacted for comments but didn’t respond to requests before publication.