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Seven-week strike comes to an end at Sainte-Anne

Academic staff at Université Sainte-Anne have ended their seven-week strike earlier after agreeing to resolve remaining issues through binding arbitration.

The academic staff association is pleased with the outcome but is frustrated that it took so long to reach an agreement to go to arbitration. University officials were initially resisting allowing an independent arbitrator to help resolve outstanding issues, including the role of academic staff in decision-making about educational matters.

Members of the Association des Professeurs, Professeures et Bibliothécaires de l’Université Sainte-Anne (APPBUSA) walked off the job on March 3, after eight months of bargaining.  This was the first ever strike at Sainte-Anne, and the longest academic union strike in Nova Scotia’s history.

APPBUSA members were seeking better working conditions, pay equity with academic staff in Anglophone institutions across the province, and protections for collegial governance– a core principle of quality, public post-secondary education in Canada.

Late last week, the province stepped in to appoint an Ontario mediator, Michelle Flaherty, to help resolve the strike at Nova Scotia’s only French-language post-secondary institution.  The mediation enabled APPBUSA to make some headway on issues that the University administration had been initially refusing to discuss.

Support from other academic staff associations was high. CAUT President Brenda Austin-Smith and members of the CAUT Defence Fund joined the picket lines to show solidarity with APPBUSA members.