Volume 92, Issue 68

Thursday, January 28, 1999


Helping out relief

New hydro plan could zap costs

Smuggling film closure

Students proactive about solution

Candidates address USC's student communication

Bigger not environmentally better

Hamill creates platform from all sides


Students proactive about solution

By Becky Somerville
Gazette Staff

Students at Mount Allison University in New Brunswick are taking a proactive approach in an effort to get administration and striking faculty back to the negotiating table.

Members of the Mount Allison Faculty Association walked off the job Jan. 21 after failed attempts to reach a collective agreement with the university's administration. The strike reached the one week mark yesterday.

"[Students] are getting really pissed off," said Sam Millar, president of the Students' Administrative Council at Mount Allison.

While neither party has met at the table since the strike began, MAFA president George De Benedetti said his colleagues have been talking to a provincial negotiator on a daily basis, in hopes of getting talks going again.

Throughout negotiations, MAFA and Mount Allison's administration have been disputing primarily monetary issues, De Benedetti said. MAFA is attempting to achieve parity with the salary scale of other small Canadian universities. "There's still no money on the table, so I guess the strike continues."

De Benedetti said MAFA would resort to binding arbitration on the issue, however administration is not in favour of that as an option. "I think we can all be back at work if administration would accept binding arbitration."

David Stewart, Mount Allison's VP-administration, said MAFA's salary request would cut too deep into the university's $23 million operating budget and in turn negatively affect students.

"We have very generous proposals already on the table," Stewart said.

Stewart added administration requested a meeting with MAFA yesterday, who would not agree to meet until Monday. He said there is a considerable gap between what both parties have put on the table.

Millar said SAC was still a neutral party but may give students some choice in a public opinion vote to determine whether or not they will support one side.

SAC has been working to launch a lawsuit against both sides and has been organizing student protests to let both parties know they are seriously concerned about their future, he added.

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Copyright The Gazette 1999