Faculty contest university email declaring an end to the strike

Mount Allison University announced late Thursday night that faculty and administration had agreed to binding voluntary arbitration. The Mount Allison Faculty Association says that’s not the case.

An email to the university community announced that classes at Mt. A would resume Monday, Feb. 17.

A press release from Mt. A vice-president Karen Grant sent to media at 10:55 pm said the university would “look forward to welcoming our students, faculty, and librarians back to campus on Monday.”

The faculty association responded with their own release just minutes before midnight.

“The MtA [sic] university community was recently sent a communication from the administration declaring an end to the strike, claiming that MAFA had accepted its proposal for binding arbitration, and announcing the resumption of classes on Monday.”

“This is completely untrue. We have not yet concluded any agreement with the administration on our proposal for binding arbitration, the terms of which are very different from the proposal which the administration made last week. The administration cannot declare an end to the strike until these and other related matters have been resolved.”

“In the meantime, MAFA remains on strike.”

The Mount Allison Faculty Association signalled earlier Thursday evening that they were ready for a return to class.

“Members are keen to get back into the classroom. Our students have been a source of great inspiration to us over the last few weeks and we are looking forward to seeing them all again,” read the earlier MAFA release, quoting Loralea Michaelis, the union’s president.

The students’ union had also welcomed the news of the return to class.

“Obviously, we’re extremely excited to see that both parties have agreed to go to voluntary binding arbitration. Students have made it very clear that they wanted to get back to class. As a result, we are thrilled to hear we will be returning to classes on Monday,” said Mount Allison Students’ Union President Melissa O’Rourke, following the university’s announcement.

The University Senate is expected to meet once the strike is over to address the effects of lost class time on the semester.

Correction: After this story was published, the Mount Allison Faculty Association issued a statement that no agreement with the university had been reached. This story has been substantially edited to reflect this development. — Richard Kent, Editor-in-Chief.

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