“We have spent months trying to get the university to bargain productively for a fair and equitable collective agreement,” said FUNSCAD President Mathew Reichertz. “Our requests are reasonable and affordable. We want a fair and more equitable settlement that will bring our working conditions closer to parity with teaching staff and librarians at other Nova Scotian universities.”
FUNSCAD and representatives of the NSCAD Board of Governors began negotiations for a new collective agreement for faculty and librarians in September. After 18 meetings, held between September 7 and December 19, when an agreement had not yet been reached, the union applied for the assistance of a provincial conciliator.
Three meetings with the conciliator were held on January 28, 30 and February 6, when it seemed that the two sides had reached an impasse. Nevertheless, both sides returned for additional sessions with the conciliator on February 19 and 25; meetings adjourned yesterday without the two sides coming to agreement.
Union members have voted 97.5% in favour of a strike.
“Our members have made it clear they will not back down in the face of an employer who refuses to bargain reasonably,” said Reichertz. “We do not take the step towards job action lightly. We recognize that this is extremely stressful for students and other staff.”
“We are disappointed that the administration’s refusal to negotiate has led to this point, but we are committed to fighting for a contract that recognizes that NSCAD University cannot continue sustainably without investing appropriately in its faculty. Our members’ sacrifices have helped NSCAD to address its previous financial problems, but NSCAD is solidly in the black now.”
FUNSCAD has indicated that its negotiating team remains willing to engage in productive bargaining, and hopes the university administration will return to the table ready to make the moves that will lead to a fair agreement.
FUNSCAD is the certified bargaining agent for 95 full-time, pro-rated and regular part-time faculty and librarians. -30
Contact: Mathew Reichertz, FUNSCAD President
Faculty Union of the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design