A message from your Saint Mary’s University Students’ Association regarding the Faculty Union strike vote 

Hello students,

I am writing on behalf of your Saint Mary’s University Students’ Association (SMUSA) to update you and to address some of your concerns about the recent Collective Bargaining Agreement negotiations between Saint Mary’s University and the Saint Mary’s University Faculty Union (SMUFU). As you may have seen in recent news stories or on social media, SMUFU has recently voted in favor of a strike. 

Here’s some important information you should know:

 

What’s happening?

A Collective Bargaining Agreement is the contract between the University (the employer) and the Faculty Union (the employees). Negotiations began in June 2018 for the 2018-2021 SMUFU Collective Bargaining Agreement. Since then, several meetings have been held between the University and SMUFU in order to negotiate the terms of the new agreement. The two parties could not come to an agreement on certain items which led to SMUFU holding a meeting on October 10th to discuss their next steps. A strike vote was conducted between October 10th and 18th, resulting in 80% of SMUFU voting in favour of a strike. This does not necessarily mean that the faculty will be going on strike.

 

What are we doing?

SMUSA has met with representatives from both the University and SMUFU to discuss student concerns related to potential classroom interruptions if a strike were to occur. While SMUFU has yet to call for a strike as of November 9th, we are continuing to advocate on behalf of students and are strongly encouraging both parties to reach an agreement as soon as possible. SMUSA is on the side of the students, and we are doing everything in our power to ensure that the student voice is heard by both parties.

 

What’s next?

SMUFU has filed an application for conciliation with the Department of Labour and Advanced Education to bring in a neutral third-party mediator. The goal of conciliation is to work with both SMUFU and the University to find common ground and reach an agreement. Historically, conciliation has led to successful new agreements between Universities and Faculty Unions in Nova Scotia.

 

SMUSA will be hosting an information session about this process on November 19th from 11:00 am to 1:00 pm at the new student common space on the 5th floor of the O’Donnell Hennessey Student Centre. Visit our website (www.smusa.ca) or check our social media channels (@smusahfx) for future updates.

 

If you have any further questions, comments, or concerns, please feel free to reach out to me at [email protected].

 

Have a fun, safe and productive fall break.

 

With your best interests in mind,

Ossama Nasrallah

President – Saint Mary’s University Students’ Association

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