Volume 92, Issue 65

Friday, January 22, 1999


USC prez wannabes

Allison faculty walk out

Court date conflicts

Renovations just need final stamp of Board

Teen unemployment worst in 25 years

From boots to suits: new EMBA program offered


Caught on campus

Allison faculty walk out

By Becky Somerville
Gazette Staff

Students at Mount Allison University in New Brunswick were left out in the cold yesterday when faculty walked off the job after months of lengthy negotiations with administration.

The Mount Allison Faculty Association and university administration have been attempting to reach a collective agreement since June 1998 and have had 47 meetings at the table, said Roger Wehrell, vice-president of MAFA.

Wehrell explained the two parties have been negotiating a handful of complicated issues, including academic freedom and measures to increase the number of female professors.

"We are down primarily to monetary issues. That's when the impasse came," Wehrell said.

MAFA has been vying throughout negotiations to achieve parity with the salary scale of other small Canadian universities, Wehrell said. He added MAFA is requesting an increase to the salary scale of roughly 22 per cent over three years.

"We're miles apart," Wehrell said.

Mount Allison's VP-administration, David Stewart, said MAFA's request would require approximately four per cent of the university's $23 million operating budget, which would cut into the school's ability to adequately serve its students.

"There's really only one issue and that's salary," Stewart said. "We've offered 16.3 per cent and faculty is demanding 28 per cent."

Stewart explained the university was open today but the majority of classes were not running.

"I'm sure the community is strong. We have a great school here, but it's a difficult time," Stewart said. On reaching a collective agreement, Stewart said he is confident the two parties will meet again at an appropriate time to discuss their respective positions.

Sam Millar, president of the Students' Administrative Council at Mount Allison, said the council would act as a neutral party although he said he felt MAFA rushed into the walkout.

He added students are worried a long strike could affect the completion of their year and students have organized a protest for today to draw attention to the severity of the strike.

"This dysfunctional unit we have on campus has taken us through enough strife," Millar said. "We're very concerned about our academic year."

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Copyright The Gazette 1999