President’s Message appears in the Winter 2017 issue of The Beacon
This academic year has focused on the negotiation and implementation of our new Collective Agreement. Our own negotiations occurred in a larger context of labour action from those associated with our academic environment.
As of December 14, 2016, we signed a new Collective Agreement, our fourth as StFXAUT. Our Members approved the tentative Collective Agreement as of October 14, 2016 and the StFX Board of Governors approved the same tentative agreement on October 20, 2016. Much credit is owed to our Negotiation Team, Ken MacAulay (Chief Negotiator), Christie Lomore, and Kris Hunter, for managing the process of negotiation, overseeing the logistics of wording and formatting changes, and assisting in the communication to Members about the implementation of the Collective Agreement.
Although labour action was not necessary to conclude our recent negotiations, labour action with significant consequences from various unions with whom we interact is shaping our academic context. The Cape Breton University Faculty Association (CBUFA) remains without a ratified contract and a University President because of their negotiation process. The Canadian Association of University Teachers (CAUT) is in a labour dispute with their staff union (COPE 225) that has resulted in intermittent strike activity, work to rule action and allegations of bargaining in public. The Nova Scotia Teachers Union (NSTU) was met with legislation from the Nova Scotia Government imposing a contract on teachers without continuing to negotiate and with a law suit related to the provision of student teacher training from Universities in Nova Scotia, including St. Francis Xavier University.
We continue to monitor threats to the role and rights of unions and their Members as we persist in managing and maintaining our own role and rights in our immediate academic context.