The union representing striking faculty members at St. Francis Xavier University in Antigonish says the school's administration has walked away from the negotiating table and rejected their contract proposals.

The St. FX Association of University Teachers said on its website it will continue to strike.

Sean Riley, the president of St. Francis Xavier University, released a statement Thursday morning saying the union's counter-proposal "remains well beyond the financial capability of the institution, threatening both short and long-term sustainability."

Riley said the union's demands include increases to economic adjustments, pensions and benefits of more than $700,000.

"These demands, if accepted, would impose even more hardship on the institution, in addition to the existing planned reduction in services and employment. It is an offer that the university cannot responsibly accept," he said in the statement.

Meanwhile, the St. FX Association of University Teachers blasted the university administration for exaggerating their requests to the public.

"The refusal included punitive measures revoking contract terms that we had previously agreed to. This behavior is particularly negative," Peter McInnis, the president of the St. FX Association of University Teachers, said in a statement.

On strike since Jan. 28

The most recent round of talks began after the university administration's released a new offer earlier this week and detailed the contract proposal that would be good for four years beginning July 1, 2012.

The new offer has a 1.5 per cent raise in each of the first two years, a two per cent raise in the third year and a 2.25 per cent raise in the final year.

The offer also includes adding some retirement incentives, health care and dental benefits for part-time staff, and minimum contract lengths for some instructors.

There are no details on the amendments the union is seeking.

A previous proposal — which was rejected by the membership — had a 1.5 per cent raise for each of the first two years, followed by 1.75 per cent in the third year and two per cent in the fourth year.

The union had been arguing for an increase of 10 or 11 per cent over four years.

The 400 members of the St. FX Association of University Teachers — which include faculty, librarians, lab instructors and extension staff — have been on strike for a since Jan. 28. They've been without a contract for eight months.