Acadia University Board of Governors Rejects Compromise Offer - Faculty Association to Begin Strike Today



    WOLFVILLE, NS, Oct. 15 /CNW Telbec/ - Negotiations between Acadia
University's Faculty Association (AUFA) and Board of Governors broke down this
weekend after the Board rejected AUFA's latest set of proposals. AUFA
president Dr. Peter Williams said, "We are extremely disappointed. Sunday we
brought a proposal that provided the Board with even greater flexibility than
the compromise offer we made earlier in the week. Since negotiations began, we
have consistently moved the goalposts closer and closer, and proposed new ways
to achieve a contract that would be both fiscally responsible and secure
academic excellence at this university. No matter how easy we made it, the
Board has consistently refused to pick up the ball." AUFA members will be on
the picket line starting today at 8:30 am.
    The outstanding issues in Acadia's latest labour dispute include faculty
complement, salary grids, compensation and working conditions for part-time
faculty, benefits, and equity. "There are still a number of significant issues
to be addressed," Dr. Williams stated. "However, what's common to all of them
is our desire to preserve the high quality of education that is the
cornerstone of Acadia's high ranking reputation. We want to ensure that the
compensation package and working conditions offered by the university will be
attractive in an increasingly competitive national market for faculty, and
consistent with the university's reputation. If our ability to compete
suffers, ultimately it's our students' education that will bear the cost."
Acadia students pay amongst the highest tuition in Canada. "What worries us
most in all of this is the appearance that the administration doesn't value
academic excellence as the university's first priority," added Dr. Williams.
    This weekend AUFA received a one million dollar cheque from the Canadian
Association of University Teachers (CAUT) Defence Fund. AUFA Treasurer
Darcy Benoit, who received the cheque at a CAUT defence fund meeting on the
weekend, and will formally present it to Dr. Williams today at 11 am, said
that the funds will ensure that AUFA has sufficient resources to weather a
long strike: "We hope we can reach a resolution quickly, but these funds will
provide financial and psychological support to ensure that we don't have to
compromise on the principle of securing the academic quality of the
university."




For further information:

For further information: Andrew Biro, AUFA spokesperson, (902) 542-1796,
(902)670-7566 (cell), andrew.biro@gmail.com, http://www.caut.ca/aufa/

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ACADIA UNIVERSITY FACULTY ASSOCIATION

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