During the past six months the CAUT Defence Fund Trustees have been called upon once again to provide strike benefits, loans and solidarity visits for striking academic staff.
The second strike by the Mount Allison Faculty Association in seven years was the focus of Defence Fund activity earlier this year. The strike benefits paid by the fund and the generous support of other associations meant the financial position of many MAFA members, especially younger colleagues, was not harmed by the strike. In addition to financial support, the trustees organized two very successful national solidarity visits to strike headquarters in Sackville. The unprecedented record of five strikes in the last three academic years indicates that the fund will continue to be called on to provide support when the collective bargaining process reaches an impasse.
The current situation at the University College of Cape Breton, where faculty have been without a contract since 1991 is particularly acute. In addition, there are many associations who will begin bargaining before the fall.
The Defence Fund wishes them success in reaching collective agreements, and stands ready to help should it become necessary. The Defence Fund web site http://defencefund.caut.ca has a permanent record of the sites created by associations during their strikes.