After a week of work by a Department of Labour conciliator, talks between the Mount Allison administration and the university faculty have reached an impasse.
Both sides made some progress on non-monetary issues, but are still far apart on salary scales.” says Roger Wehrell, spokesperson for the Mount Allison Faculty Association (MAFA).
At a meeting Tuesday, MAFA members expressed strong opposition to the Employer’s last offer. Following the hostility directed at the offer the Conciliator indicated that he would be filing his report to the Minister on Wednesday. Within two weeks the sides will be in strike/lock-out position. MAFA is scheduling a meeting of its members in early January to prepare for a strike vote. Wehrell also noted that 95% of the members recently voted to support their negotiating team, with strike action if necessary.
The MAFA executive is also buoyed by the recent provincial budget, which provides for a 1% funding increase for New Brunswick universities instead of the expected 1% decrease. “For Mount Allison this will mean an unexpected increase in revenue next year, apart from tuition revenues, so there’s no excuse for the administration. And, after years of operating surpluses, and now with this government announcement, Mount Allison has definitely turned the corner financially, and it’s time to reward the faculty, whose hard work and sacrifice made the institution’s success possible,” Wehrell says.
Wehrell also commented that a number of senior professors are retiring and this will free up funds both to replace them and also to improve salary and benefits for everyone else.
The Faculty has been working without a contract since July 1st, and the members are resolved to improve their situation, Wehrell says.
For further information please call:
Roger Wehrell, VP & Spokesperson, Mount Allison Faculty Association
(O) (506) 364-2968
web site: http://personal.nbnet.nb.ca/MAFA