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Academic staff at Université Sainte-Anne on strike

Supporters of the Association des professeurs, professeures et bibliothécaires de l’Université Sainte-Anne (APPBUSA) converged on the University’s Halifax campus last Friday to call for the administration to return to the bargaining table.

Faculty and librarians at Université Sainte-Anne—the only French-speaking university in Nova Scotia—are fighting for better working conditions, pay equity with academic staff across the province, and a healthier working relationship between academic staff and the administration.

APPBUSA began its first ever strike in the university’s 130-year history on March 3, after eight months of bargaining.

In a statement released early last week, APPBUSA expressed disappointment and frustration at the administration’s refusal to consider its proposals and negotiate an end to the labour dispute.

“Of what use is it to proclaim and claim that at Sainte-Anne we are a family,” the statement reads, “if so many members of this family – professors, students, support staff – are systematically excluded from major decision-making affecting us all?”

CAUT President Brenda Austin-Smith and members of the CAUT Defence Fund members joined the picket lines to show solidarity and support the striking academic staff.

“The students are caught in the middle,” said  Austin-Smith. “Good, quality working conditions mean good, quality learning conditions, so all of this affects the students.”

CAUT is asking members to send letters to Université Sainte-Anne’s president and senior leadership through its online campaign – Stand with Striking Academic Staff at Université Sainte-Anne.

APPBUSA members voted last month to authorize a strike, with more than 90 per cent voting in favour.

The strike at Université Sainte-Anne started just after job action at Acadia University ended when both sides agreed to binding arbitration.