New Brunswick

Mount Allison students excited to be back to class

Students returned to classes at Mount Allison University on Monday, but are still wondering how they're going to make up for time lost during the three-week faculty strike.

Still worried about how they'll make up time lost during faculty strike

Mount Allison University students, who returned to classes on Monday, say they're happy to be back.

But they're still wondering how they're going to make up for time lost during the three-week faculty strike.

"It's really nerve wracking because we don't know what's coming," said Megan Blacquiere, a third-year psychology student.

"I know for me personally I've missed at least three or four midterms, multiple presentations, weekly assignments. It's just been overwhelming," she said.

Loralea Michaelis, president of the Mount Allison Faculty Association, says professors are looking at their course outlines for possible adjustments they can make. (CBC)
​Fellow student Jeffrey Savoie agrees. "It messes up everybody's summer job and other plans you had during the summer — if you had a summer course. So, just three weeks off has a long impact." 

A deal to end the strike by full-time and part-time professors and librarians was reached around midnight Saturday after negotiations overseen by a mediator from the province.

The university administration and faculty have agreed to go through binding arbitration to settle their contract dispute.

The university senate will meet this week to determine how the lost classroom time can be made up.

Reading week may be cancelled

Officials say they're trying to save reading week, also known as spring break, which is set for next week.

"It's just too disruptive to cancel it and try to figure out a way to accommodate students who simply have to go wherever it is that they're going," said university vice-president Karen Grant.

With or without a reading week, the semester will have to be extended, she said.

Mount Allison Faculty Association president Loralea Michaelis says professors are ready to assist.

"Our members are determined to make sure that students will get the education that they deserve," said Michaelis. "Everyone is — I'm sure — looking over their course outlines thinking about the kind of adjustments that they can make."

It's a process the Mount Allison Students' Union will watch closely, said president Melissa O'Rourke.

"One of the things that we will be doing is we're going to be looking to get a tuition rebate for students. So, depending on how many weeks of classes will actually end up being lost."

Following a three-week strike at the University of New Brunswick, the university announced it would pass on its net savings to students.

Several outstanding issues at Mount Allison, including compensation and workload, will be submitted to binding arbitration for resolution.