The strike at Mount Allison University earlier this year was resolved as a result of a mediated settlement by government-appointee Douglas Stanley. When both the board of regents and the faculty association accepted the mediator's report on Feb. 13, a new collective agreement was de facto in place for 1998-2001.
Salary increases for 1998-1999 differed according to a faculty member's position on the scale, which ranged from a 6.5% scale increase at the bottom of the assistant professor rank to a diminishing 2% increase at the top of the full professor rank. Employees may elect to take part of their salaries as research grants. Salaries for 1999-2000 and 2000-2001 are to be negotiated in June 1999, and if there is no agreement reached at the table, the salary scales for the second and third years of the agreement will be arbitrated.
Other monetary gains are: department chair expense accounts -- 12% of the assistant professor step one salary; professional development reimbursement accounts -- 2.3% of the assistant professor step one salary; and continuing education stipends -- 8% of the assistant professor step one salary.
In the appointments article, there are more stringent provisions for gender equity; acknowledgment of differing career patterns for men and women; a limit of five instructor positions, with a provision similar to part-time appointments, where such positions can only be created by a majority vote of the members of the department concerned; and a provision for student involvement on search committees.
In the tenure and appointments article, there are new provisions for handling bias of administrators, and special provisions for faculty members who transfer from one department to another.
Under the official files and discipline articles, there are provisions for temporarily removing disciplinary matters from the official file when a candidate is being considered for tenure, promotion, or sabbatical leave, and a four-year sunset clause on disciplinary matters.
The academic freedom article has been strengthened, as has the department and program evaluation article, and there are improved provisions for librarians to obtain release time for research.
There are new articles on privacy rights for all forms of communication; on conflicts of interest; on liability insurance for employees; and provision for the union to purchase release time for its chief negotiator during contract negotiations.
A joint-committee was established under the collective agreement to try and institute an early retirement plan in future collective agreements. Phased retirement can begin at age 60.
One letter of understanding requires the employer to make a "best-effort" at renegotiating a new provision with insurance carriers which would permit the faculty association to pay the premiums on policies in the event of a work-stoppage.
Sabbatical leave salaries were negotiated at 90% of salary of record for the second and third years of the agreement, but the employer has since changed its mind and wishes to maintain the present status of 85%. This matter was the subject of an arbitration on March 31, and the panel had not rendered its decision at press time.
George De Benedetti is President of Mt. Allison Faculty Association.