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Feb. 8, 2020 — Tentative collective agreements between the Mount Allison Faculty Association (MAFA) and Mount Allison University have now been reached. 

Full- and part-time faculty and librarians return to work as of today. 

Classes and academic programming will resume on Monday, Feb. 10.

A ‘Back to Class’ FAQ page is being prepared for students and will be posted on the website not later than 5 p.m. today. We will send an e-mail to students when that information has been posted.

Bargaining updates

Feb. 6, 2020 — 10 p.m.
The bargaining teams met this evening and are scheduled to meet again tomorrow at 10:30 a.m.

Feb. 6, 2020
Yesterday, Feb. 5, the University bargaining team proposed four approaches, including third-party arbitration, to end the strike by faculty and librarians. University administration indicated they would support whichever option the faculty association preferred.

Read more about the University proposals to resume classes

This morning, Feb. 6, the faculty association dismissed all four options.

Meetings began today at 10:30 a.m. and discussions are continuing.

Feb. 5, 2020
Negotiation meetings between the two parties were held today, with the assistance of the provincially-appointed mediator. 

During the morning session, the University’s bargaining team proposed a number of clear options to the faculty association, designed to immediately end the strike by faculty and librarians and return students to classes. 

Each option also provided a path for the two parties to achieve new collective agreements without further disruption to the winter term.

The faculty association has indicated they are considering the options and another meeting between the parties has been confirmed for 10:30 a.m. Thursday.

See below for all previous bargaining updates.

Feb. 4, 2020
A meeting between the two bargaining teams has been scheduled for Wednesday, Feb. 5. The provincially-appointed mediator will also attend.

Feb. 3, 2020 — 12:10 a.m.
The union-imposed strike deadline of 12:01 a.m. has passed without the two parties reaching tentative agreements.

Therefore, Mount Allison faculty and librarians are now on strike.

Feb. 2, 2020 — 5 p.m.
Over the past three days, the two bargaining teams continued to meet and exchange proposals. The University’s bargaining team tabled a revised offer for MAFA’s review and consideration on Feb. 1. It built on the framework of the offer proposed Jan. 7 and included a number of enhancements intended to meet the faculty association’s many interests. 

MAFA has now announced, in a negotiations update posted earlier today, that their bargaining team reviewed the University’s Feb. 1 offer, has determined it does not meet their expectations, and recommended to the MAFA executive that the offer be rejected.

Accordingly, MAFA has announced publicly that unless a tentative agreement is reached before the union’s strike deadline of 12:01 a.m., Feb. 3, faculty and librarians will go on strike as planned.

MAFA has indicated its willingness to continue negotiating. It has, however, erroneously implied that the University bargaining team is no longer willing to meet. We wish to confirm that the University’s bargaining team is willing to negotiate any time and has always been willing to do so. 

As it stands, the University’s bargaining team remains available to negotiate with MAFA before the union’s strike deadline.

Feb. 2, 2020
We appreciate the ongoing bargaining process is causing uncertainty. Therefore the University has decided to cancel all Monday (Feb. 3) classes, labs, and tutorials.

We will provide a further update later today.

Feb. 1, 2020
The two bargaining teams met Saturday. The University tabled an enhanced offer for MAFA’s review and consideration. The two teams are considering next steps.

We appreciate that this process continues to create uncertainty for students, parents, and the Mount Allison community at large. We thank the teams for their continued commitment to try to avert a strike, through negotiation.

Jan. 31, 2020
The University has received official notice to strike from the full-time and part-time faculty bargaining units. A strike will begin on Monday, Feb. 3 at 12:01 a.m. unless a tentative agreement has been reached by that time.     

The bargaining teams have been negotiating throughout the day today and progress is being made. Both teams are prepared to keep meeting throughout the weekend and the provincially-appointed mediator has agreed to continue assisting the teams over the weekend as they work toward new collective agreements.

Another update on the progress of the negotiations will be posted no later than 5 p.m. on Saturday, Feb. 1.

Jan. 28, 2020
At a meeting of the bargaining teams on Monday, Jan. 27, MAFA advised the University it has set a strike deadline of 12:01 a.m. on Monday, Feb. 3, for full-time faculty and librarians.

This does not necessarily mean a strike will occur on the deadline; however, it reinforces the need for continued discussion.

Bargaining meetings previously scheduled for this Thursday, Jan. 30, and Friday, Jan. 31, are expected to proceed. The goal of these meetings is to continue negotiations with the assistance of the mediator and work toward negotiated settlements without a strike.

The University is considering the impacts a potential strike of full-time faculty and librarians would have on academic programming and what it would mean for courses taught by part-time faculty. We will provide additional information about contingency plans as soon as possible.

Last Friday, Jan. 24, the University advised MAFA of its concerns with respect to the strike vote results for the part-time bargaining unit, and whether a strike mandate for that unit has in fact been achieved. Accordingly, we advised MAFA we would ask the Labour and Employment Board of New Brunswick to review the matter. A more detailed discussion of the topic is presented on the 'University perspective on official strike vote' page.

Jan. 24, 2020
The parties met today with the assistance of the provincially-appointed mediator. The two bargaining teams are scheduled to meet again on Monday, Jan. 27, and additional meetings in the presence of the mediator are scheduled for Thursday, Jan. 30 and Friday, Jan. 31.

Jan. 21, 2020
The parties are scheduled to meet with the assistance of the mediator on Friday, Jan. 24.

Jan. 20, 2020
Bargaining continues today with the assistance of the provincially-appointed mediator. The University believes ongoing dialogue provides the best chance for negotiated settlements. 

We understand the stress the bargaining process and upcoming faculty strike vote creates. Please be aware that the outcome of the strike vote does not mean that a strike has immediately been initiated. However, depending on the results of the vote, MAFA may be in a position to formally initiate a strike at some point. The University will not initiate a work stoppage. The University will not consider locking out MAFA members unless there is a strike.

>> To review the University offer, please visit the University offer page.

>> To review additional information on a number of topics, visit the key bargaining information page.

Jan. 17, 2020
The parties met without the mediator on Thursday, Jan. 16 and are scheduled to meet again with the mediator on Monday, Jan. 20.

Jan. 14, 2020
The parties continued negotiations with the assistance of the provincially-appointed mediator on Monday, Jan. 13.

The University bargaining team presented a comprehensive offer to the faculty association bargaining team on Jan. 7.

>> Review the details of the University’s offer  

The University presents this offer as a positive step forward and a constructive pathway toward new collective agreements. The offer includes and addresses many issues of interest to both parties, while also taking into account:

  • a focus on the academic mission
  • long-term financial sustainability
  • the interests of other key stakeholders, including students, staff, and the Province of New Brunswick

Further updates concerning the negotiations process, including any future meeting dates, will be posted here as they become available.

Jan. 10, 2020
The bargaining teams met Jan 7, 8, and 9 as planned, and discussions covered a wide range of topics. An additional meeting date has been scheduled for Monday, Jan. 13.

Jan. 6, 2020
The provincially-appointed mediator will be meeting with both parties beginning Tuesday, Jan. 7 through Thursday, Jan. 9. Additional meeting times for January are also being discussed and will be communicated as they are confirmed.

Dec. 19, 2019
The minister of Post-Secondary Education, Training and Labour has now completed his review of the conciliation officer’s report and has written both the University and the Mount Allison Faculty Association to indicate he will not be appointing a conciliation board.

However, the minister has appointed a mediator to continue to assist the parties. The University looks forward to mediation as a means of reaching new collective agreements in an expedient manner. Information on the role of a mediator and next steps can be found in the bargaining FAQ.

The faculty bargaining team reached out to the University bargaining team on Wednesday, Dec. 18 to discuss possible dates to meet early in the new year, and the University bargaining team has shared a variety of potential meeting options with them. Those meeting dates will need to take the mediator’s availability into account, but as the calendar year draws to a close, the University looks forward to the opportunity to resume negotiations beginning as early as possible in January.

Dec. 3, 2019
The Mount Allison Faculty Association (MAFA) bargaining team and the Mount Allison bargaining team scheduled meetings with the conciliation officer for Wednesday, Nov. 27 and Thursday, Nov. 28.

At the end of the first scheduled day of meetings, the faculty bargaining team asked the conciliation officer to file his report to the minister of Post-Secondary Education, Training and Labour.

That ended the conciliation process, and we now await the minister’s decision about the next phase of the negotiations process. More information on the process can be found in the bargaining FAQ.

The University considers these to be mature collective agreements. The full-time faculty collective agreement has been in place for 35 years, while the first part-time collective agreement was signed 15 years ago. As such, we believe that negotiations should focus on a relatively small number of core subjects of interest to one or both parties.

At the time of the Oct. 24 update (noted below), the University bargaining team had 18 open collective bargaining proposals on the table, of which only 8 now remain. By contrast, the faculty bargaining team had over 100 proposals to the collective agreements open as of Oct. 24 — approximately 90 still remain on the table. At this stage of the process, such a large number of active requests for changes poses a practical impediment to constructive negotiations.

The University looks forward to the next phase of the negotiation process and the prospect of real progress towards new collective agreements that reflect both parties’ core interests, and which are financially sustainable for the University as a whole.

Nov. 19, 2019
The Mount Allison Faculty Association (MAFA) bargaining team and the Mount Allison bargaining team met with the assistance of the conciliation officer for four full days from Nov. 12-15.

While some progress was made, more work is required to achieve new collective agreements. A continuing challenge is the number of proposals on the table — the MAFA bargaining team still has approximately 90 requested changes, which is significant at this point in the negotiating process.

The University is encouraged that further sessions with the conciliation officer are being scheduled and remains hopeful that new agreements can be reached in a timely manner.

Nov. 8, 2019
The Mount Allison Faculty Association (MAFA) bargaining team requested a meeting with the Mount Allison bargaining team to review specific items: accordingly, the two teams met on Nov. 4. The parties are scheduled to continue negotiations throughout next week, Nov. 12-15, with the assistance of the provincially-appointed conciliation officer.

We are hopeful that significant progress will be made next week towards negotiated agreements that support our academic staff, allow for continued investment in academic programming, the student experience, and campus facilities, and are financially sustainable.

Oct. 24, 2019
Bargaining teams for Mount Allison and the Mount Allison Faculty Association (MAFA) met with the provincially-appointed conciliation officer on Monday, Oct. 21 and Tuesday, Oct. 22.

The teams are scheduled to meet again, with the assistance of the conciliation officer, for four days Nov. 12-15.  Mount Allison is committed to supporting the conciliation process.

It is important to appreciate that new collective agreements for full-time and part-time faculty be viewed within the lens of overall financial sustainability, and allow the University to support the needs of all other stakeholders as well — including students, employees of other bargaining units, non-bargaining staff, and public funders.

Negotiations thus far have covered many areas, and generated agreements on a number of items. While we feel progress has been made, differences remain:

  • The Mount Allison bargaining team views the full-time and part-time contracts as mature collective agreements that require minimal change.
  • Accordingly, the team currently has brought forward a modest number of proposals, 18 of which are still on the table for discussion. The team has also put forward compromises on several of these (two examples noted below).
  • MAFA’s bargaining team has proposed many significant changes in both agreements, with 100 requested changes still on the table.
  • Of these, there are more than 50 monetary items that the University estimates will cost in excess of $10 million over the life of the contract, which is an amount equivalent to an increase in salary and benefits of over 50 per cent.

During the most recent discussions on Oct. 21 and 22, the University’s bargaining team offered the following concessions:

  • Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) for sabbatical replacement formula: The University had initially proposed removing the MOA from a new agreement; however, we have proposed to include, in a new contract, a modified MOA with the same level of sabbatical replacements as the current version.
  • Sick leave provision: The University has agreed to drop its proposed changes to the sick leave provision. It will remain as is, per MAFA’s request.

It is the University’s expectation that further discussions with the conciliator will be an opportunity to focus on areas of mutual benefit and pave the way for new agreements that are fair and equitable for both parties, as well as being financially sustainable.

Oct. 2, 2019
Conciliation between Mount Allison and the Mount Allison Faculty Association (MAFA) is ongoing. Further meetings are scheduled for Monday, Oct. 21 and Tuesday, Oct. 22.

Sept. 6, 2019
The conciliation officer's first meeting with both parties occurred on Friday, Sept. 6. Each bargaining team had an opportunity to meet with the conciliation officer. The conciliation officer then convened a meeting with both parties. Discussions focused on next steps in the conciliation process.

It was agreed that both parties would meet this coming week without the conciliation officer to discuss employment equity-related provisions. The conciliation officer will continue to meet with both sides individually in the short term and will also schedule times for both sides to get together again.

Aug. 20, 2019
The minister of Post-Secondary Education, Training and Labour has appointed a conciliation officer to assist the parties in reaching new collective agreements. The parties are expected to meet with the conciliation officer within the next few weeks.

Aug. 9, 2019
Bargaining teams for Mount Allison and the Mount Allison Faculty Association (MAFA) have mutually agreed to submit an application to the minister of Post-Secondary Education, Training and Labour to appoint a conciliation officer to assist the parties with ongoing negotiations. 

The appointment of a conciliation officer is not an unusual step and is used in many bargaining processes. For more on the conciliation process, visit our collective bargaining FAQ page.

The bargaining teams have met a total of 15 times to date. Progress has been made on a number of items; for example, an agreement in principle has been reached on the adoption of gender-neutral language for the collective agreement. Negotiations on other items have been positive and substantive, however it is felt the assistance of a conciliation officer at this juncture will benefit both parties.

July 31, 2019
The parties have met nine times as of today. Both parties met in June to exchange proposals and establish a protocol for negotiations. Official negotiations began July 24.

May 17, 2019
The Mount Allison Faculty Association (MAFA) provided formal notice to the University on May 17 that it wished to begin negotiations of new collective agreements for both the full-time and part-time bargaining units.

The members of the University’s bargaining team are:

  • Neil MacEachern (Chief Negotiator)
  • Katherine DeVere-Pettigrew
  • Nauman Farooqi
  • Chris Milner

The members of MAFA’s bargaining team are:

  • Stephen Law (Chief Negotiator)
  • Fabrizio Antonelli
  • Sarah Fanning
  • Maritza Fariña
  • Lisa Dawn Hamilton
  • Geoff Martin