Volume 95, Issue 85

Thursday, March 14, 2002
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USC budget approved

NDP: no more taxes for 'Aunt Flo'

UBC tuition may rise

Union boss talks labour at Western

Pizza and periodicals?

Canada humping less, dying more

Dalhousie profs and suits butt heads

News Briefs

Dalhousie profs and suits butt heads

By Jessica Leeder
Gazette Staff

Negotiations between faculty and Dalhousie University administration in Halifax broke down yesterday for the second time in two weeks, leaving students "stuck in the middle."

Unable to move past one particular point of contention, the negotiation effort that began Monday afternoon was stymied when the university refused to budge on the number of full-time faculty that figure into hiring practices.

In a statement released yesterday, the university said the Dalhousie Faculty Association merely "presented the university with two new proposals that only reaffirmed their previous position on the central staffing issue," prompting them to cancel talks for the rest of the week because they "were not helping the two parties to move towards an agreement."

Otherwise, Stacey Lewis, a spokeswoman for the university, could not be reached for comment.

According to DFA president Andrew Wainwright, the university has not been replacing full-time faculty members who retire with other full-time professors. Rather, he said they have been hiring part-time and associate professors who are not part of the union and who do not have the same responsibilities as full-time professors.

Dave Tindall, DFA strike co-ordinator, said although faculty members feel strongly about the part-time issue, they are willing to negotiate.

"The difficulty from our point of view is that the board won't even talk about it," Tindall said, adding the two groups plan to meet as soon as possible with the provincial conciliator to discuss the same issue for the second time.

"Our original position has been considerably modified in the previous rounds of negotiation, but [the university] does not seem to want to move at all," Tindall said. "It's a control issue. They want complete control."

Shawn Tracey, president of the Dalhousie Student Union, said student optimism about the situation is steadily declining.

"Settlement is only going to occur at the table and right now they aren't even talking. Both sides maintain they want a swift resolution to the strike, but we see no evidence of this," he said.

"This Monday, they sat down and met for three days, but they can't seem to get past the first issue when there are about 20 under negotiation. Students are just stuck in the middle."

Tracey said it is not yet clear what the implications of the strike will be for students.

"Two weeks is still workable, but every day over two weeks makes it more and more difficult," he said.

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Copyright The Gazette 2002