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HALIFAX Conciliation talks are not going well for part-time faculty at Saint Marys University, members of the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) Local 3912. The union will commence a strike vote Tuesday.
Outstanding issues include job security, wages and the method of filling positions.
The university has not given us any reason to believe they are willing to move on any of our key issues, says Local 3912 president Barb Moore. We have been in negotiations since August and the employer continues to stall.
Moore says a major sticking point is a proposal that would allow retired full-time faculty the first option on courses now taught by part-timers.
Its not enough that we work for a mere fraction of what full-time faculty earn, now they want to give our jobs away to retired professors, says Moore.
On the issue of wages Moore says the union is looking for a substantial increase.
University tuition here is the highest in the country, yet part-time faculty only earn about 60 per cent of what part-timers earn in other provinces, says Moore. The university makes huge profits from courses being taught by part-time faculty, which is why more and more courses are being taught this way. Its time to stop subsidizing universities on the backs of part-time faculty.
CUPE national rep Linda Clancy says the union is anxious to settle negotiations without causing a disruption to student exams.
In a last ditch effort to avoid a strike vote the union asked the employer to consider binding arbitration, she says, but the university refused.
Part-time faculty at Dalhousie and Mount Saint Vincent University applied for conciliation on February 27.
For more information please contact Linda Clancy at 902-835-2766 or 902-452-9979 (cell).