Acadia University : There have two strikes in past decade of the Acadia University Faculty Association (AUFA). The first strike occurred on February 24th of 2004 and lasted approximately 18 days to March 12th. Major issues during the 2004 AUFA strike were wages, job security, fairness and equity in managerial practices, the integration of part-timers and faculty retention and recruitment. It is important to note that students at Acadia in 2004 did not lose their semester.
The second AUFA strike occurred on October 15th of 2007 and lasted approximately 22 days to November 5th 2007. A Provincial mediator was appointed on November 1st and helped facilitate an agreement. The University gave returning students a $275 tuition credit for the winter semester from money saved in unpaid faculty salaries. Annual tuition during 2007 for Canadian students at Acadia was $8,062 and International students were $14,349. Students did not lose their semester at Acadia in 2007 and the Acadia Students’ Union remained neutral throughout.
Cape Breton University: The UCCB Faculty Association of University Teachers (FAUT) enacted strike action on February 11th 2000 and lasted approximately 35 days to March 17th 2000. Major issues during the 2000 FAUT strike were tenure, promotion practices, salary and wages. An arbitrator was appointed on March 14th 2000, the UCCB Students’ Association remained neutral and supported third party involvement to find a solution.
York University: The York University Faculty Association (YUFA) entered a strike position on March 20th of 1997 and lasted approximately 54 days to May 13th1997. Key issues during the strike were retirement, funding and institutional governance. Some students were delayed in completing their winter semester as certain exams were pushed ahead and final marks were delayed accordingly.
Vancouver Island University: The Vancouver Island University Faculty Association (VIUFA) went on strike on March 11th of 2011 and lasted approximately 32 days to April 11th 2011. A Provincial mediator was appointed to help both parties develop an agreement on difficult issues. Students were able to graduate on time and complete the semester.
Brandon University: The Brandon University Faculty Association (BUFA) went on strike on October 12th of 2011 and lasted approximately 45 days to November 26th 2011. A mediator was appointed on October 25th as they were far apart on wages, benefits, working conditions and contract language. The Manitoba Provincial Government ordered the BUFA to vote on the University’s offer immediately instead of the standard 72 hours. Students at Brandon University were able to complete the term and the Students’ Union demanded a tuition refund for classes missed.
University New Brunswick: AUNBT at University of New Brunswick has been on strike since January 13th. More information to come on this strike as it develops.
Historical Examples of Arbitration
St. Thomas University: Students at St. Thomas University returned to class after 40 days of strike once the Faculty and Administration agreed to binding arbitration. The Faculty Association President, Suzanne Dudziak illustrated the fact the two sides failed to agree on several key issues during negotiations and as a result she determined that a negotiated settlement was not possible. University spokesman Jeffrey Carleton noted that, “We went through months of negotiations, conciliation and two rounds of mediation.” In the end of a Provincial mediator recommended that both parties enter into binding arbitration. Students were able to return to classes within 48 hours but the semester was extended for 11 days.
N.S.C.C: The Nova Scotia Teachers Union representing community college workers in Nova Scotia called for binding arbitration to avert a strike by faculty and staff on October 9th, 2009. Union President Alexis Allen stated that “Binding arbitration will allow the parties to reach a negotiated settlement without resorting to a strike.” A strike at that time could have affected 25 000 students at 13 campuses across Nova Scotia. While College spokeswoman Gina Brown left the door open to arbitration, agreeing to explore the possibility of arbitration in order to prevent a strike. Both parties shortly agreed to a tentative collective agreement on October 19th, 2009 and averted a strike.
**Information on Strike History provided by the “U” at St. FX