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CAUT Bulletin Archives

October 2006

Academic Staff at Sainte-Anne OK Strike

Academic staff at Université Sainte-Anne in Nova Scotia voted overwhelmingly last month to authorize a strike.
Members of the academic staff association voted 98 per cent in favour of taking strike action to back up their union’s bargaining team.
The union said its members are angry over negotiations that started two years ago for a contract that expired June 2004.
“The vote reflects the level of dissatisfaction with the employer’s unwillingness to engage us in a dialogue on the substantive issues,” union president and chief negotiator Bryan Empson said. “We’re disappointed with the way the university is handling the negotiations. We’ve had more than 30 bargaining sessions, but little progress has been made.”
The union has applied for conciliation, and is awaiting word on the provision of French language conciliation services.
“Our members have given their negotiating team a strong mandate and we’re hopeful we will move through conciliation,” Empson said. “We hope the next step is a contract and not a strike. I don’t think anyone wants to see a disruption in the education process, but if a satisfactory settlement can’t be reached, picket lines will go up at an appropriate time.”
Academic staff at Sainte-Anne, a francophone university serving the province’s Acadian communities, are the lowest paid in the country and teach the highest number of courses.
Empson said a recent government-led merger with Collège l’Acadie, a community college with a similar mandate, has led to some of the unresolved issues in bargaining.