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Striking CBU faculty members ratify contract offer, ending nearly two-week strike


Striking Cape Breton University faculty members have ratified the university's most recent contract offer.

According to a news release from the Cape Breton University Faculty Association (CBUFA), 203 of its 220 members voted, with 83.7 per cent in favour of accepting the terms of the offer.

The financial terms of the contract include base wage increases of 3.25 per cent, 2.9 per cent, and 2.75 per cent over three years, plus partially contingent, one-time bonuses of varying amounts in each year.

"As educators, we look forward to returning to our workspaces across campus and in the community,” said CBUFA vice-president Calvin Howley.

“Although this agreement moves us closer towards equitable wages, there is work to be done in repairing the relationship between CBUFA and administration. We hope to see the administration move toward greater collegiality and respect for faculty, with a stronger emphasis on high quality education for students.”

Faculty members reached a tentative agreement late Sunday afternoon after months of negotiations, with the help of a provincial conciliator.

“We are grateful for the help of the provincial conciliation services, without them a deal would not have occurred at this time," said CBUFA president Dr. Adango Miadonye.

"The positive outcome of the membership ratification vote means that members are able to return to their regular duties and to work with students again.”

Miadonye says he is grateful for the support received from students, community members and colleagues at other universities.

“I am especially proud of – and grateful to – the CBUFA members who picketed and who performed other strike duties. We stood the gaff, together," he said.

Members of the CBUFA, which represents professors, librarians, lab instructors, writing centre advisers, archivists, research chairs and nursing practice educators, walked off the job on Jan. 27.

Members went on strike to support demands for salaries that keep pace with inflation, respect for the collective agreement, and to maintain the quality of education at the university.

The union had also said administration disrespected it at every turn, leading to a large number of labour grievances.

The administration said the union was originally seeking a 14 per cent raise over the next two years.

The first wage proposal from the university offered an increase of eight per cent over the next three years, in addition to existing annual step increases.

Faculty members voted 92 per cent in favour of a strike in September.

Most classes have been cancelled since the strike began, with some students joining faculty members on the picket line.

With files from The Canadian Press. Top Stories

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