MAFA Questions Budget Priorities — Picket Lines Remain

Members of MAFA’s negotiating team met with the University administration in the presence of three students and the Provincial Mediator on Friday, January 29th, in an attempt to find common ground from which to restart negotiations. The meeting was called by Mount Allison Vice-President David Stewart . Stewart, however, had no new offers in response to MAFA’s last negotiating position and talks broke down at the end of the day.

Much of the discussion focused on the budget priorities of the University. MAFA drew attention to the proportion of Mount Allison’s budget spent on academic salaries, academic instruction and administration costs. This information, drawn from the 1996-97 Canadian Association of University Business Officers documents prepared by Statistics Canada, shows that Mount Allison ranks among the lowest in expenditures on academic activities and among the highest in administrative costs. Comparison with similar universities (see following table) illustrates the low priority the Mount Allison administration places on academic expenditures:

Percent of General Operating Budget Spent on

University Academic Salaries1 Academic Instruction & Non-Sponsored Research2 Administration Costs3
Mount Allison 36.9 52.3 14.7
Acadia 39.0 56.5 11.4
Bishop’s 47.8 61.6 10.0
Moncton 44.2 62.1 10.3
Mt. St. Vincent 45.6 62.7 11.5
St. F.X. 38.7 57.1 11.6
       
21 Undergraduate University Average4 39.7 58.9 12.2
       
Mt. A. Ranking Among 21 Undergraduate Universities4 16 17 3
       
       
  1. Salaries of Deans appear under academic and not administrative costs.
  2. Academic instruction includes academic salaries
  3. Administrative costs do not include computing services, maintenance, library or student services.
  4. Average and ranking are from the 21 universities included in the Maclean’s group of Primarily Undergraduate
  5. universities

MAFA’s salary demands could be met by increasing the amount spent on academic salaries by 1% of the budget. This increase would still leave Mount Allison far behind other universities in the portion of the budget spent on salaries. MAFA President George De Benedetti noted that “if Mount Allison allocated its budget in a similar fashion to the average for other small universities, the administration could accommodate MAFA’s demands within a balanced budget.”

For more information contact:

Prof. George De Benedetti, President
Mount Allison Faculty Association
(506) 536-2968 (strike headquarters)
(506) 536-2396 (Home)
FAX (506) 536-0200
email: mafa@nbnet.nb.ca
Website: http://personal.nbnet.nb.ca/MAFA