In an effort to reduce the number of days students will miss this semester due to the strike, the University of New Brunswick announced it plans to cancel the March Reading Week, pending senate approval. 

UNB also said classes will be extended until April 17, with the exam period scheduled from April 22 to April 30 — including some exams scheduled on Sunday, April 27.

These changes mean students will only miss four days of class and the summer term will begin as scheduled.

UNB said all tuition and other related fees are now due by 4:30 p.m. on Feb. 7 for both undergraduate and graduate students.

Tentative agreement vote to come

Striking faculty members at UNB will vote on tentative agreement that calls for salary increases of 2.5 per cent in the first two years of the contract, with any increase in the third year to be determined through arbitration, says the president of the Association of University of New Brunswick Teachers.

The tentative agreement to end the strike that started Jan. 13 was reached Thursday.

University president Eddy Campbell announced Friday that classes and courses will resume on Monday.

"I know we are all looking forward to a return to the vibrant UNB campus life that students, faculty and staff contribute to every day," said Campbell in a statement.

Wages have been a key issue in the dispute. The administration was offering a 9.5 per cent increase over four years while the AUNBT was seeking a pay increase of about 25 per cent to bring salaries in line with universities of comparable size in Canada.

Association president Miriam Jones says the financial settlement in the agreement is unclear because any catch-up increase will be settled through arbitration in the third year of the contract.

Jones says the association was successful in having the new contract include language that compares UNB to other universities of comparable size.

"We still have a toehold there," said Jones. "We have some language now about being comparable and that was our main goal.

"It was not the number when it came down to it. It was having some language in our collective agreement that said we were contenders, that we were to be compared with other universities."

The ratification vote by about 550 full time professors and librarians is scheduled for Tuesday and Wednesday.

However, the strike officially ends at midnight Saturday and professors will be returning to campus in advance of the ratification vote, said Jones.

Discussions to end the strike started Wednesday with 12 hours of negotiations through mediator Brian Keller. Talks continued Thursday until the deal was reached in mid-afternoon.

"For a while it didn't look like anything was budging," said Jones. "We were not feeling very hopeful.

"I think the job of a mediator is to read the riot act to both parties."

The tentative agreement also requires the approval of UNB's board of governors.