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One strike ends and another begins

FREDERICTON (CUP) — One university strike in New Brunswick may be ending, but another is just beginning.

Mount Allison University professors ended their first week of picketing last week. All classes have been suspended and no future negotiating dates have been set as of publication.

Mount Allison Faculty Association president Loralea Michaelis said the university’s proposals regarding workload, support for the academic mission, replacements for leave, salaries, pensions, benefits and pay for part-time faculty remained unchanged throughout the negotiation process.

“The employer is still sticking to proposals that our members have told us are unacceptable,” Michaelis told The Argosy.

However, according to a release from Mount A’s vice-president academic Karen Grant, the university isn’t proposing anything that limits professors’ academic freedom.

“The university has not put forward a single proposal that restricts, inhibits, or compromises academic freedom or the control of individuals’ teaching or research in any way,” the release read.

“We have repeatedly asked the faculty association to tell us which proposals they take issue with. They have not responded.”

On Jan. 31, professors held a rally march around the university where they received a million dollar cheque from the Canadian Association of University Teachers.

“It’s great. We know the war chest will hold out . . . as long as it needs to,” Michaelis told The Argosy at the march.

Like the UNB Student Union, the Mount Allison Students’ Union has decided to take a neutral stance on the strike.

“At the end of the day, we feel that being neutral . . . is in the best interests of students,” said MASU President Melissa O’Rourke to The Argosy.

“For us to be able to continue enhancing the student experience at Mount A, it really is important that we’re able to work with both parties.”
With files from Christopher Balcom of the Argosy

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