Mediation in the New Year Could Help Professors and Librarians at Mount Allison Work Out a New Agreement
Wednesday, January, 22, 2020
Professors and librarians from Mount Allison University will return to mediation in January to negotiate a new collective agreement. Negotiations began in June 2019 when the previous agreement expired, but no agreement could be reached before the end of the year.
The two sides have been in talks for more than six months, but it was not until recently that a mediator was brought in to help with the negotiation process. The decision to mediate comes after a provincially appointed conciliator was unable to help the parties this past November.
The university has been updating negotiation proceedings on its website and the most recent update says that the school is looking forward to using mediation to speed up the process and reaching a new agreement. The statement said negotiations are scheduled to resume in January.
The strike date looms over both sides, so it is imperative an agreement is reached soon. The Mount Allison Faculty Association voted to strike beginning January 21st if an agreement is not reached by the 20th. The union includes nearly 200 full and part-time librarians and school faculty.
According to union president Matthew Litvak, the union’s main issue is academic understaffing. Litvak stated the union’s concerns regarding staffing need “to be addressed in order to ensure the university can continue to deliver its academic programs at the high-quality level students have come to expect.”
Should mediation be unsuccessful, there is a two-day strike scheduled and then both sides could return to negotiations or could call on a third-party arbitrator to resolve the negotiations.