Mount Allison union calls for mediator to help end strike

The Mount Allison Faculty Association is calling for a special mediator to assist in negotiations in order to end the strike.

Mount Allison Faculty Association rejected administration's binding arbitration proposal Friday

Faculty at Mount Allison University started a legal strike on Jan. 27. (CBC)

The Mount Allison Faculty Association is calling for a special mediator to assist in negotiations in order to end the strike.

The university's faculty and librarians have been on strike since Jan. 27.

On Friday, the proposal to enter into binding arbitration with striking academic staff was rejected by the union.

The university said it proposed the creation of an arbitration board including a member appointed by the university, the Mount Allison Faculty Association and one member chosen by both parties.

The school said it has been negotiating with the association for seven months and it's apparent the parties will not agree on a new collective agreement at the bargaining table.

“We had hoped that the administration would be ready to negotiate with us,” said MAFA President Loralea Michaelis in a news release. “The strike is taking its toll on the university but its effect on the administration’s bargaining expectations has been negligible.”

Michaelis said the administration has not altered its bargaining position since the strike began.

“MAFA made significant moves to find a way through to a settlement, but we got nothing back from them,” she said.

Michaelis said a mediator helped to bring the UNB strike to an end and hopes for a similar result at Mount Allison. The administration is currently considering MAFA’s proposal for a special mediator.

The association, which represents 154 full-time and 56-part-time faculty and librarians, has said the main issues in the dispute have centred on salaries, pensions and benefits.

The university's 2,400 students have been out of class for two weeks.

With files from The Canadian Press