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Tentative agreement reached at Acadia University

Faculty and Board agree on wages and full-time faculty increments

by Robert Devet

The count down to a strike or lockout comes to a halt as Acadia Faculty and the university settle on staff increments and wage increases. Photo Flickr
The count down to a strike or lockout comes to a halt as Acadia Faculty and the university settle on staff increments and wage increases. Photo Flickr

KJIPUKTUK, HALIFAX -  A tentative agreement was hammered out yesterday between the Acadia University's Board of Governors and its Faculty Association.

Further discussions will be necessary to settle on the language of the contract, Andrew Biro, spokesperson for the Acadia University Faculty Association, tells the Halifax Media Co-op.

"But we're very pleased that we have come to an agreement without a labour disruption," Biro says.

The two parties were close when conciliation talks broke down earlier in the month. At that point, a basic agreement was reached on wages and the number of permanent teaching positions at the Wolfville university, two main points of contention. But the Board of Governors insistence that the number of full-time positions be tied to student enrollment numbers remained the main stumbling block for the union.

Similarly, the University's offer on pensions was contingent on a particular proposal to reform the pension plan being accepted and approved by all pension members, not just faculty, by the end of February. This too was unacceptable to the Faculty Association, who argued that such a vote by individuals was out of their control.

Both issues have now been resolved, Biro says.

Pay will increase by 1.75 percent each year of the contract, Biro says. Full-time staff positions will increase from 144 at the beginning of the contract to 152 in 2016/17.

“We have turned the corner in terms of the number of full time faculty that we have,” says Biro. Over the last five years the number of full-time positions actually decreased from 182 to 144.

As well, the Board has conceded that this issue will remain part of the collective bargaining process in the future, Biro says. Faculty has all along argued that the number of permanent faculty members matters, as it speaks directly to the quality of education.

Biro believes that a ratification vote will likely be held in the last week of February.

See also:

Acadia University in 14-day countdown to potential strike or lock-out

Follow Robert Devet on Twitter @DevetRobert

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