Nova Scotia

Conciliator to meet with both sides in Dal faculty contract talks

The Dalhousie Faculty Association — comprised of about 1,000 members of the university's teaching, research, librarian and counselling staff — filed for conciliation last month after it said talks, which began in June, had reached an impasse.

Conciliator Peter Lloyd will meet with faculty association, university representatives Jan. 22, 23 and 29

A conciliator will try to help Dalhousie University and its faculty association come to a new collective agreement. (Andrew Vaughan/Canadian Press)

A conciliator will meet with representatives of Dalhousie's faculty association and the university's board of governors next week to try to help the two sides hammer out a new collective agreement.

The Dalhousie Faculty Association — comprised of about 1,000 members of the university's teaching, research, librarian and counselling staff — filed for conciliation last month after it said talks, which began in June, had reached an impasse.

In December, the faculty association told CBC News there were a number of issues the two sides could not agree on, such as workload, pension and comparability.

Conciliation involves asking the province's labour minister to appoint an independent party to try to help the sides reach an agreement. Meetings with a conciliator have been scheduled for Jan. 22, 23 and 29.

Faculty association president Darren Abramson was unavailable for an interview Monday afternoon. The current collective agreement expired in July.

Conciliation 'normal part' of bargaining

Brian Leadbetter, a spokesperson for Dalhousie University, confirmed the bargaining dates the faculty association tweeted Monday morning.

"The university and the board of governors are encouraged by the tone that we've seen in terms of progress at the negotiating table to date," Leadbetter said.

"Our perspective, institutionally of course, is that conciliation is a normal part of the bargaining process and that we welcome the assistance of a conciliator and we're hopeful he will help us reach a collective agreement."

Leadbetter said Peter Lloyd will be the conciliator. Last year, Lloyd was the conciliator between Cape Breton University's faculty association and its board of governors. Both sides were able to come to an agreement and avoid a strike.

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