Solidarity rally for striking St. Thomas faculty in Fredericton January 23.
Classes resumed at St. Thomas University Feb. 5 after striking professors and the administration agreed to binding arbitration for any remaining issues under dispute.
Faculty association president Suzanne Dudziak said that despite having resolved a number of issues, the two sides failed to agree on several key issues, including salaries, benefits, the base stipend for part-time faculty and working conditions for limited term appointments.
“Once we determined a negotiated settlement wasn’t possible because of the employer’s intransigence, we opted for arbitration to end the strike and return to the classroom,” Dudziak said.
Negotiations at STU began 12 months ago and academic staff were locked out by the administration Dec. 27 before later going on strike.
STU’s final contract offer was rejected by the union’s membership in late January.
Dudziak said member support remained strong throughout the lockout and month long strike.
“Solidarity between full- and part-time faculty and the support of CAUT’s Defence Fund and other unions has been wonderful,” she said. “It made a huge difference in helping us to stay strong during this bitter dispute.
“We returned to work proud of our efforts and the achievements we were able to negotiate, and we are prepared to continue to defend our rights.”
Flying pickets from across the country joined the union’s picket lines every week of the lockout and strike.