The week long faculty strike/lock out at Dalhousie University ended on the first day of April. A tentative agreement and an agreement on the back-to-work protocol were reached by the two negotiating teams late on April 1. On April 2, the DFA membership voted to accept the back-to-work protocol, and normal academic life resumed that morning. The date for the ratification vote has not yet been set.
As reported in the last issue of the Bulletin, the two major issues driving the faculty job action were salaries and the academic complement. Although all details of the agreement were not available at press time, the tentative collective agreement is for a 44 month term, from 1 November 1997 to 30 June 2001, and the financial package represents an increase of 13.6 per cent.
The faculty association indicated that some strong assurances and agreements about process were achieved regarding the complement issue. Features include the establishment of a joint DFA-board of governors committee to explore complement levels and methods for dealing with complement; and the assurance that none of the early retirement positions in 1998 will be taken for complement reduction, at least until May 2000.
Ismet Urgusal, Dalhousie Faculty Association President, stated that the faculty was very strong and united throughout the strike. "In the end," she said, "we achieved a good agreement. We showed with utmost clarity that we do care about our university and the quality of education at Dal, and we are prepared to do whatever it takes, however painful, to get what is fair and correct."
The faculty association expressed its thanks to the many colleagues throughout Nova Scotia and from across the country who supported the DFA both before and during the strike. Academics showed their solidarity through financial help, messages of support, and companionship on the picket line. The students lent their support to the faculty as well.
Details about the agreement will be posted at the CAUT web site www.caut.ca and the DFA web site www.dfa.ns.ca as they become available.