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Cape Breton University students worried as faculty strike looms


With faculty set to strike Friday, it was all the talk Wednesday at Cape Breton University.

"We will be losing our classes and we will be wasting our time,” said one of many international students at a campus bus stop.

In the past month or so, international students at CBU have been through a lot, from a housing crisis to a fatal fire.

Now, there's a looming strike.

"It will be hard for me because I came here all the way from India to get good education here,” said another student. “I didn't expect a strike.”

The two sides say the issue behind the impasse is money.

The CBU Faculty Association (CBUFA) says the increase they've been offered would total 8 per cent over three years. They want 14 per cent over two years.

"We are waiting for them. The ball is in their court,” said CBUFA President Adango Miadonye. “We cannot bargain with ourselves, so we have told them that the offer they gave us is not good enough. We are waiting on them to call us back."

CBU says their offer is comparable to other universities in the province. They're still optimistic things can be resolved.

"If it was a complicated, tricky issue, then you might have to have a few weeks. This is money,” said Rod Nicholls, a member of the university’s bargaining team.

The last time there was a faculty strike at CBU was back in 2000. It was a long dispute that lasted through much of the winter semester.

"It would be beneficial for both the university and the faculty, and the students, if we avoid this mess,” Miadonye said.

During the 2000 strike, most students were local. Now, the majority are studying from abroad.

"There's really no reason to go on strike. There's no necessity to go on strike. Therefore, don't go on strike,” Nicholls said.

For now, CBU has posted information on its website for students and employees if a strike goes ahead Friday. Top Stories

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