Faculty and librarians at Mount Allison will be returning to work on Monday, February 17, following a three week strike which has ended with both parties agreeing to submit their differences to binding arbitration. Feelings are mixed.
“Members are happy to be returning to the classroom. We will be doing everything that we can to make sure that our students get the education that they came here for,” Mount Allison Faculty Association (MAFA) President Loralea Michaelis said.
MAFA and the administration met over the weekend to reach an agreement on the scope of the arbitration as well as the terms of a back to work protocol. The strike ended early Sunday morning.
“Ideally we would be returning to work with a tentative collective agreement and a negotiated resolution of the differences that gave rise to the strike. We proposed binding arbitration only after it became clear that this would not be possible. It is in the best interests of our students and the university to end the strike and take our differences to arbitration,” says Michaelis.
Outstanding issues to be resolved at arbitration include workload, compensation, and the question of how much control administrators should have over teaching and research.
“Even though free collective bargaining has come to an end we will be working hard over the next few months preparing for the arbitration hearing, to ensure that the academic mission of the university has the protection that it needs,” she said.
“We have a much stronger association as a result of this process. We have discovered what we have in common, a dedication to free and open discussion, and a generosity of service that has been truly outstanding.”
“Besides moving our members’ interests forward in the arbitration process, our goal now will be to come together to restore the academic community at Mount Allison.”