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Students join Cape Breton University faculty on day four of strike


Cape Breton University faculty members were back on the picket line Monday, where they were joined by some of their students.

"I wanted to show my support for the faculty,” said Jessica MacNeil, a Bachelor of Arts student from Sydney in her final year of a communications degree.

Inside, the university's board of governors held a closed door meeting.

Students had planned to stage a silent protest in the hallway outside but due to what the university called an initial concern about numbers, they were asked not to demonstrate in the hallways as some classes were still taking place, taught by staff who are not members of the striking union.

The explanation didn't sit well with some on the picket line.

"The administration is trying to stifle our voices in that sense,” said student Curtis Hutchinson. “They're trying to make it so that we can't show our support, they're trying to keep everything very hush-hush with it."

The university told CTV Atlantic when they saw a manageable number of students show up to participate, those who wanted to protest were invited indoors to use the school's Great Hall.

Some still chose to join faculty outside.

"I think given comments [CBU President & Vice-Chancellor David Dingwall] made about meetings of the minds, I'm hoping they'll make a decision and come back and talk to us”, said Scott Moir, a member of the Cape Breton University Faculty Association.

Also on Monday, more than 800 faculty members at Memorial University of Newfoundland walked off the job.

"I think there's a climate,” Moir said. “I think there's problems in terms of collaborative governance here, and I think that needs to get fixed."

Students on the picket line said they've long felt caught in the middle of this dispute over wages.

"It really bothers me”, Hutchinson said. “I want to be in there. I just started a facilitation program this year, and it's a practicum. I can't do my practicum without being in there to talk to my students."

There was no word on what resulted from Monday's CBU board of governors meeting by deadline. Top Stories

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