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Part-time faculty at Saint Marys University in Halifax have voted to accept a deal that was achieved mere hours before the employees were poised to walk off the job. The new agreement, ratified on April 10, will see a substantial increase in the per course stipend and improved job security for the 165 members of CUPE 3912.

The top rate will go from $6750 per course to $8100.

Local 3912 president Barb Moore says members are pleased with the gains they have made since joining CUPE five years ago. At that time part-time faculty were earning only $5000 per full-credit course.

One of the most difficult hurdles was getting the university to withdraw a clause that would give retired professors the first option on teaching part-time courses.

We are very relieved to have retained job security for our members, for many of whom part-time teaching is a career, not a second job, says Moore. Its time the university recognized the huge contributions and sacrifices that part-time faculty make.

CUPE 3912 also represents part-time faculty at Mount Saint Vincent and Dalhousie Universities, as well as teaching assistants at Dal. Both units are heading into conciliation.

We are hopeful the other two universities will follow the lead of Saint Marys and recognize the value of our work, says Moore.