For Immediate Release
April 20, 2014
Mount Allison Faculty Association passes resolution of support for students seeking strike reparations from the administration
At its recent Annual General Meeting members of the Mount Allison Faculty Association (MAFA) voted unanimously in favour of a motion in support of the Mount Allison students seeking reparations from the administration in response to the faculty and librarian strike this past term.
“The strike revealed something about the institution which shocked all of us who believed in Mount Allison as a community dedicated to the intellectual and social well being of its members,” says MAFA President Loralea Michaelis. “The administration has been unwilling to deal with this and has tried to press ahead as if everything is business as usual,” she added.
Mount Allison’s faculty and librarians went on strike for three weeks in late January through mid-February of this year. “The strike ended and the term was salvaged but there is still so much that is unresolved at Mount Allison,” Michaelis said. “This motion supports those students who are trying to start a conversation about what happened this year, and what it means for the future of the institution.”
It has been estimated that the administration saved over $800,000 in unpaid salaries during the faculty strike. Mount Allison University’s operating budget is funded 40% by student tuition, 40% by the New Brunswick government, and 20% by endowment income and other revenue sources.
“Our members have diverse views on the matter of a tuition refund. Many are concerned that it feeds into the idea of the student as consumer. But we are unanimous in thinking that the relationship between students and the university has been damaged as a result of the strike and that this damage needs to be recognized and repaired.”
Reparations can take many forms but a discussion about institutional decision making and responsibility would be a place to start, she said.
MAFA represents 200 full-time and part-time faculty and librarians.
The full motion reads as follows: “The MAFA membership expresses its admiration and respect for the student activism and the student activists who are standing up for fair reparations in response to the strike of 2014.”