Nova Scotia

Union, university administration hold talks in bid to avert Mount Saint Vincent strike

Mount Saint Vincent University administration and the union representing full-time faculty, librarians and lab instructors met Sunday in a last-ditch effort to avert a strike on Monday.

Negotiations were still taking place as of 8 p.m. AT Sunday.

According to a news release on its website, the Mount Saint Vincent University Faculty Association — the union representing the workers — has 160 members.

In December, the release said 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.

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

Despite the announcement of the impending strike, the release said the union would continue negotiations.

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.

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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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