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CUPE 3912 and the Dalhousie Faculty Association have teamed up to tackle some serious staffing problems at Atlantic Canada’s largest university.

“Increased student enrollment, sharp increases in tuition and classroom crowding have prompted the joint initiative,” says CUPE representative Linda Thurston-Neeley.

It’s the first time CUPE, representing more than 700 teaching assistants and part-time faculty, and the 700 full-time faculty and librarians represented by the DFA, have worked together on an issue.

CUPE 3912 and the faculty association have sent a joint letter to the President and Vice-Chancellor of Dalhousie, inviting them and representatives of the university’s board as well as senior administration, to a meeting that would be facilitated by an independent mediator.

“We hope such a meeting can resolve the situation and that our joint union cooperation will benefit students,” says Thurston-Neeley.

Dalhousie has admitted that the university is in violation of contractual obligations on staffing matters, but says it is not able to comply with the collective agreements for the current and upcoming terms.