Sackville, NB – The Mount Allison Faculty Association is proposing voluntary binding arbitration to resolve its dispute with the administration of Mount Allison University. This proposal would see students returning to class as early as Monday.
“We understand that despite our best efforts the collective bargaining process has been exhausted,” said MAFA President Loralea Michaelis.
Earlier this week the New Brunswick government had appointed a special mediator, Mr. Larry Steinberg, to assist the two parties in reaching an agreement. Following two days of intensive negotiations MAFA was unable to reach a tentative settlement with the administration.
“Although we did not get a deal, mediation was not a wasted effort. Many issues were clarified as a result of the process. We now have a solution to get back to work,” Michaelis said. “We look forward to a positive response from the administration to our proposal.”
“Members are keen to get back into the classroom. Our students have been a source of great inspiration to us over the last few weeks and we are looking forward to seeing them all again,” she added.
Full and part time faculty and librarians have been on strike since January 27, 2014. The main issues have been workload, adequate resources for the core mission of the university, academic control of teaching and research, and compensation.
“MAFA remains committed to the principle of free collective bargaining but this round of negotiations has proven to be one of the most challenging in our history. Differences in bargaining positions are to be expected but our members have been shocked by the way in which the administration has handled this labour dispute. We will be having serious conversations about administrative accountability and decision making,” Michaelis said.
MAFA represents 154 full-time and 56 part-time faculty and librarians. They have been working without a contract since July 1, 2013.