More than eight months after serving notice to bargain, teaching faculty at the University College of Cape Breton are still without a contract. Last-ditch talks aimed at averting a strike are underway this month after members of the UCCB Faculty Association of University Teachers voted 86 per cent in favour of job action. “We’re hoping to avoid a strike,” said faculty association president Allen Britten, but warned that if the talks failed there existed a real possibility of job action. In December FAUT negotiators applied for conciliation, hoping to speed up negotiations which have dragged on since June. Britten said while most non-monetary issues are being signed off, the union had yet to receive the monetary package from the employer.