New four-year collective agreements covering full-time and part-time faculty members at St. Thomas University were ratified in February.
The settlement for the full-time academic staff was reached with the assistance of a provincial mediator, after members voted in favour of strike action earlier this year. The deal was concluded 18 months after the expiry of the previous contract.
"We're pleased that we were able to avoid a strike and obtain an acceptable settlement," said faculty association president Jeannette Gaudet. "We made substantial improvements to working conditions, which was a key issue in the strike vote."
Full-time members now have increased support for research through a pool of 40 course releases and more money available through internal research funds. New full-time faculty in tenure-stream positions will receive a one course reduction in each of their first two years.
There is also new language on the duty to accommodate, rights to privacy, collegial rights, protection of intellectual property rights and rights to technologically-mediated courses.
Improvements were also made to sick leave, now at six months with full pay and benefits, and parental leave, topped up to 95 per cent of salary for 14 weeks.
The part-time bargaining unit now includes those teaching in intersession and summer session appointments.
Improvements include provisions for multi-year appointments up to a maximum of three years and better language on authorization for part-time appointments and working conditions.
Salaries for all members will increase by a total of 10.5 per cent over the four-year period.
"This was a hard-fought fight, but negotiations were successfully completed," Gaudet said. "Our membership made this scenario possible through their determination and support for our negotiators."