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News / February 28, 2019

NSCAD Faculty Union Gives Strike Deadline Notice

The notice means faculty could go on strike as early as March 1
The Duke Street entrance at NSCAD University in August 2018. Photo: Google Streetview. The Duke Street entrance at NSCAD University in August 2018. Photo: Google Streetview.

According to multiple media reports out of Halifax, the NSCAD University faculty union—also known as FUNSCAD— has issued a strike deadline notice.

The Chronicle-Herald reports that the strike deadline notice was filed Tuesday, and that faculty “could go on strike as early as Friday,” March 1. The notice affects 95 full-time and part-time instructors and librarians in the bargaining unit.

The strike deadline notice comes after multiple conciliation sessions in January and February, says the newspaper. Negotiations on a new agreement had been ongoing since September.

“We have spent months trying to get the university to bargain productively for a fair and equitable collective agreement,” FUNSCAD president Mathew Reichertz said in the Chronicle-Herald. “Our requests are reasonable and affordable. We want a fair and more equitable settlement that will bring our working conditions closer to parity with teaching staff and librarians at other Nova Scotian universities.”

Negotiation and strike updates posted on the FUNSCAD website over the past month have articulated some of the union’s concerns about the bargaining process.

“The NSCAD administration recently sent communications to FUNSCAD members regarding the collective bargaining process,” says a February 15 update. “These communications provided extensive details of the employer’s proposals and selected union proposals. We are disappointed that the administration has chosen to bargain in public.”

Recently, NSCAD’s student union, also known as SUNSCAD, posted an expression of support and solidarity for the faculty union on Instagram.

“Without faculty, NSCAD could not achieve the academic excellence that we do, nor be such a renowned institution worldwide,” says the SUNSCAD statement of support. It adds: “NSCAD professors deserve to be fully supported; they should not have to make sacrifices or endure unfair working conditions when our institution is capable of providing sufficient support.”

SUNSCAD is asking all students to respect any picket line that takes shape as of March 1 at NSCAD University. According to SUNSCAD, such a picket, if the strike proceeds, is due to begin at 8:30 a.m. on Friday, March 1.

“SUNSCAD supports all the demands from FUNSCAD, which include workload, fair compensation, complement, equity, job security, support for caregivers and further transparency from the administration,” says the statement, which is signed by SUNSCAD president Kassidy Bernard, VP finance Peri McFarland, VP academic Isa Wright, and VP cultural Fern Pellerin. SUNSCAD will also be closing its office in solidarity during any strike.