Mount Royal University, faculty ink new collective agreement
Salary and benefits increase included in deal
A weekend vote at Mount Royal University to ratify a new collective agreement means there will be no strike or work stoppage this year.
But the school's faculty says the new contract brings both relief and disappointment.
After nearly two years of contract negotiations between the board of governors and the university's faculty association, a new contract agreement was accepted Friday evening.
The contract includes a 3.25 per cent increase in salary and benefits over the course of the contract, said Mount Royal Faculty Association president Lee Easton.
"There was a sense of relief among many faculty, and certainly among students, that we had found a way to reach a new collective agreement with the university," he said.
"You can't always get everything that you hoped for. But in this case, I think we saw an important move to address an important issue for contract faculty."
Easton said the association is disappointed they were not able to get a full cost of living adjustment, and said they've mitigated the impact of inflation, but have not fully compensated for it.
In a statement, Elizabeth Evans, MRU provost and interim vice-president academic, said the agreement covers July 2020 up until June 2024, and keeps the best interests of students at heart.
The new agreement will be compiled and posted online as soon as possible, Evans said.
Province hindered negotiations, faculty president says
"The government's shadowy role in the room, which hinders the ability of our employer, the university, to actually negotiate with us, is a major concern," said Easton.
Earlier this month, an MRU student leader said the provincial government had a role to play in a potential faculty strike or lockout.
At that time the government said it was not involved in the negotiation process.
Easton said in the future the faculty should be able to negotiate directly with MRU.
In a statement minister of advanced education, Demetrios Nicolaides said the government sets the mandate for post secondary institutions.
"The mandate is then taken forward by the relevant employers into negotiations. The Government of Alberta does not participate in the day to day negotiations with post-secondary institutions," he said.
- A previous version of this story said part of the salary and benefits increase agreed upon in the new collective agreement was retroactive, but all increases will actually occur over the next two years.Feb 23, 2022 9:16 AM MT
With files from Lucie Edwardson
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