Academic staff at Saint Mary’s University in Halifax have ratified a new contract with the board of governors that provides an average 9.3 per cent increase in salary and benefits over the next three years.
The deal that was reached after five days of negotiations in July also includes a retirement incentive payment of up to 70 per cent of final year salary for faculty and librarians with 20 or more years of service who retire on Aug. 31 following their 65th birthday. New provincial legislation — which took effect on July 1 — abolished Nova Scotia’s default retirement age of 65.
The contract has language added to create a small number of permanent lecturer/lab instructor appointments that have the rights and privileges of regular faculty and annual salary on a par with assistant professors. The new positions are limited to 5 per cent of the full-time faculty complement, can only be established with the consent of a department, and cannot be used to fill full-time faculty vacancies.
The new agreement also establishes a parity committee whose main function will be to establish a salary range for disciplines or sub-disciplines that are in high demand and may warrant market supplements.
Non-economic issues in the renegotiated contract include a new clause in the academic governance section acknowledging that “No action or policy of senate shall violate the rights of employees as negotiated in this collective agreement.”