Nova Scotia

Faculty at Mount Saint Vincent University set to strike

Full-time faculty, librarians and lab instructors at Mount Saint Vincent University in Halifax are set to strike at noon today.

In a statement, the university administration said weekend meetings with the union and a conciliator did not result in an agreement.

The statement said on Saturday at 10 p.m., the Mount Saint Vincent University Faculty Association responded to the university’s financial position of Jan. 25, indicating workers were going to strike on Monday at noon.

“Still, negotiations continued Sunday as planned. Regrettably, a tentative agreement was not reached,” the statement said.

The administration said the strike’s impact on students is its primary concern.

“We’ll do all we can to support our students throughout this time and minimize the effect on students’ academic experience,” it said. 

“We will aim to ensure that students have sufficient class time to meet learning outcomes and to maintain the quality learning experience that is expected at MSVU.”

According to a news release on its website, the faculty association has 160 members.

The release said in December, union members voted overwhelmingly in favour of a strike if an agreement was not reached.

The union said on Jan. 25 it had failed to agree on a collective agreement after three days of meetings with the university.

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On Feb. 7, the union said it informed the labour minister that it intends to go on strike starting at noon on Monday.

Student union response

The student union’s governing body planned to meet later Sunday to determine its position in the event of a strike.

Student union president Katerina Allan said the student union supports the rights of all unions to collective bargaining and labour action.

“The students’ union is not involved in the collective bargaining process, but stands firmly with students and is here to support them and to ensure that their needs are met,” Allan said.

The MSVU website has posted a list of strike protocols agreed to by the university and the union.

The measures include prohibiting the access of striking members to areas of the university that include parking areas, administrative buildings, dining halls and cafés, the student centre and student residences.

Picketing may only be in designated areas and striking members won’t be allowed to slow vehicles entering the campus.

The outlined measures also include the discontinuation of sick and vacation leave during the strike.

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