Media release – August 5, 2016
CAPE BRETON UNIVERSITY FACULTY ASSOCIATION (CBUFA) STRIKE VOTE
(Sydney NS) Cape Breton University Faculty Association members have given their bargaining team strong support in the form of a successful vote to call a strike if necessary. 111 voted in favour of the motion to strike, 12 voted against. The membership is 145 in number.
The strike vote was initiated by a lack of progress after a month of negotiations between CBUFA and Cape Breton University Board of Governor representatives. This has been particularly frustrating, according to CBUFA President Andrew Molloy, because members remain under the threat of potential layoffs. A layoff process was begun last January by CBU President David Wheeler and a decision regarding potential layoffs is expected to be made in September. “This is truly disappointing news for our association and would make CBU the only university in the province to be laying off faculty and staff despite having a better fiscal history than other Nova Scotia universities,” said Molloy.
The cost of layoffs to the Cape Breton community could be significant. To quote President Wheeler himself, “CBU may soon be forced to downsize its operations by up to 10 per cent, taking at least $10 million out of the Cape Breton economy and eliminating up to 140 direct and indirect jobs in the region” (Wheeler op ed piece, Chronicle Herald Nov. 25, 2015). Layoffs could also jeopardize the sustainability of academic programs thus reducing CBU’s capacity to offer a full range of university programs to its current and future students.
CBUFA began negotiations in early July with the hope that a new contract would remove the threat of potential layoffs, but that has not happened. CBUFA filed for conciliation today. It very much hopes that conciliation will have better results. The issues under negotiation are few in number and do not concern salaries, but rather work load, job security, and what CBUFA considers the future vision and academic integrity of the university. While filing for conciliation, CBUFA will be available to meet with the Board of Governor representatives.
CBUFA currently represents Professors, Librarians, Archivists, Lab Instructors, Nursing Practice Educators, and Research Chairs.
Andrew Molloy, CBUFA President, 902.563.1858, email: Andrew_molloy@cbu.ca
Calvin Howley, CBUFA Vice-President, 902. 563.1877, email: Calvin_howley@cbu.ca
Andrew Reynolds, Chair, Communications , 902. 563.1301; email: Andrew_reynolds@cbu.ca