Acadia University and the faculty union are heading into a possible strike as union members voted overwhelmingly Jan. 28 to reject the latest contract offer from the university.
Jim Sacouman, chief negotiator for Acadia University Faculty Association, said 95 per cent of the faculty voted against the offer, which he said had no substantive improvements from earlier proposals.
He said negotiations are at an impasse over key issues of wage parity, job security, fairness and equity in managerial practices, the integration of part-timers and faculty retention and recruitment.
"The university is offering a salary increase that will not take us half the distance to the national salary medians by rank," Sacouman said. "The board of governors is refusing to address competitive salary increases."
He said faculty at Acadia are among the worst paid in the country. "If Acadia cannot offer working conditions, salaries and benefits that are comparable with other universities, new faculty will not come and current faculty will not stay."
A tentative agreement reached last summer met with an overwhelming 90 per cent rejection vote.
In November, union members voted 92 per cent in favour of strike action.
"Our hope is to negotiate a fair contract and not a strike," Sacouman said. "But there will be a strike unless the university gets back to the bargaining table and negotiates a fair and equitable contract for our membership."
AUFA represents 240 full-time faculty members, librarians and instructors and 61 part-time faculty members who have been without a contract since June 30, 2003.