Acadia Faculty Strike Begins; University President Leaves for China



    WOLFVILLE, NS, Oct. 15 /CNW Telbec/ - With Acadia University faculty
walking the picket line for the second time since she took over as
Acadia University President in 2003, Dr. Gail Dinter-Gottlieb has embarked on
an extended visit to China. AUFA President Peter Williams said: "The
President's decision to pursue a recruiting trip half way around the world in
China could not be more poorly timed. What does this say about her commitment
to Acadia University, its students and its faculty? Our membership is really
puzzled by this development. Is any hope of continuing negotiations on hold
until she returns?"
    University spokesperson Scott Roberts now says that the key sticking
point is compensation. AUFA maintains that the critical issue is the
administration's budgeting priorities. The administration admits that the
salary envelope offered by the Board has not changed since June. AUFA members
overwhelmingly rejected a financial package based on that salary envelope in
June and again in September. In a memorandum of understanding signed to end
the 2004 strike, Dr. Dinter-Gottlieb pledged to "commit more of our financial
resources to faculty" so that "as soon as possible Acadia and its faculty
should arrive at the point where our compensation structure is seen by all as
being regionally and nationally competitive." Since that time the proportion
of the university's financial resources allocated to faculty has been rolled
back.
    Not only is the Board unwilling to negotiate changes to its faculty
salary envelope, they are also offering to negotiate salaries with individual
members. On the university's website the administration explained: "The amount
in the salary envelope presented by the Board has not changed. Within this
salary envelope there is significant flexibility to restructure grids and
adjust remuneration. The Board is prepared to adjust individual anomalies on a
case by case basis." Dr. Williams said that he was appalled by this
information. "We have been very flexible and creative in making good on the
President's 2004 pledge, which the Board seems to have no intention of
honouring. They have known since June that the financial envelope set aside
for faculty is inadequate, and offering to negotiate salaries with individuals
flies in the face of the principles of collective bargaining. It has become
crystal clear that attracting and retaining first-class faculty to preserve
academic excellence at Acadia University is not the administration's top
priority."




For further information:

For further information: Andrew Biro, AUFA spokesperson, (902) 542-1796,
(902) 692-9801 (cell), andrew.biro@gmail.com, http://www.caut.ca/aufa/

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ACADIA UNIVERSITY FACULTY ASSOCIATION

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