WOLFVILLE, NS – Acadia University will not see a strike today after it’s board of governors and faculty union have reached a tentative agreement on a new contract.
The Acadia University Faculty Association had announced a Nov. 27 deadline to strike two weeks ago after 81.6 per cent of its members voted to strike after negotiations stalled on points including childcare services, full-time faculty positions and pay equity.
The details of this latest agreement have not been released. Both the university and AUFA have publicly voiced their relief the strike has been avoided.
“I think both sides are extremely relieved to have reached an agreement,” said AUFA spokesperson Rachel Brickner.
Both parties confident agreement with stand
Brickner was not present for the final talks, but confirmed they were very long, beginning mid-morning Sunday and ending Monday morning just before 6 a.m.
She said Acadia’s campus is quiet today, and that both sides are relieved to have avoided the strike.
“It’s something we would have carried out only if necessary,” she said.
Dr. Jeff Banks, speaking for the board of governors, said both sides were hugging at the end of this morning’s talks once an agreement was reached.
“We were able to stick to our goal of an affordable agreement – I suppose it was the board of governors’ goal, but I’d like to think it was everybody’s,” he said.
Neither AUFA nor the board of governors are worried the tentative agreement will fall.
She also said the private tentative agreement could be made public over the next two weeks.
“I think ultimately both sides realized in order to get a deal and avoid the strike they needed to work through the bunch of proposals,” she said.
“I don’t see this agreement falling through.”
A sigh of relief for students
Acadia Student Union President Grace Hamilton-Burge says she and all students breathed a sigh of relief this morning when the announcement came through.
Burge said the ASU will keep an eye on the tentative deal, but that there’s no big reason to worry, since tentative agreements aren’t often voted down.
“Students were happy to be in the classroom and going back to academics this morning, knowing exams will proceed and December graduations will happen,” she said.
Had it not been avoided, this strike would have been the university’s third since 2004.