The union representing full-time faculty, laboratory instructors and librarians at Mount Saint Vincent University has given the green light for a strike.
Ninety-four per cent of 144 union members supported a strike mandate if conciliation talks with the university fail this week. Ninety-nine per cent of union members voted.
The union and MSVU have met 28 times since June over wages, workload and support for caregivers and victims of domestic violence, the MSVU Faculty Association said in a news release Tuesday.
“Our requests are totally reasonable,” said association president Robert Farmer. “We simply want a fair and equitable settlement to ensure parity with other Nova Scotian universities. This is something that MSVU is well able to afford.”
The association said compensation and working conditions for MSVU’s mostly female faculty lag behind most Nova Scotian universities. The faculty was the lowest paid in Canada when the union formed 30 years ago.
“This is at odds with a university dedicated to the advancement of women,” the release said. “It also undermines the ability to attract and retain qualified full-time faculty, laboratory instructors and librarians necessary to ensure quality post-education for students and their communities.”
The university said the strike is an indication of the members’ support for their bargaining team as they enter conciliation.
“A strike could not take place until a number of steps over a period of time have been followed, including a conciliation process,” MSVU said in an email. “In past rounds of bargaining with the MSVU FA, we have attained a successful outcome with the support of a conciliator. With conciliation scheduled to start this week, we remain optimistic that we can reach an agreement that meets the interests of both parties.”