Nova Scotia

Cape Breton University faculty files for conciliation

Faculty at Cape Breton University have filed for conciliation after a month of contract negotiations failed to bring any progress, the Cape Breton University Faculty Association said Tuesday.

Month of contract negotiations with administration fails to bring any progress

Cape Breton University students are shown on top of a sign on campus. University faculty have filed for conciliation in its contract negotiations with the administration. (CBC)

Faculty at Cape Breton University have filed for conciliation after a month of contract negotiations failed to bring any progress, the Cape Breton University Faculty Association said Tuesday.

Last week, the association voted 111-12 in favour of calling a strike to back its contract demands. It represents 145 members.

But CBU president David Wheeler said Tuesday that he believes a contract settlement is not far away. He did not give details.

In January, the university invoked a layoff clause in the faculty's contract because of funding cuts. The administration believes that its budget will be cut by $5 million under the Nova Scotia government's new post-secondary education funding formula.

Universities 'economic drivers'

"We need people to understand that if you take away $5 million from the university, you take $10 million out of the economy," Wheeler said.

"We need to start thinking of universities as economic drivers."

Cape Breton University president David Wheeler says he believes a deal between the administration and its 145 faculty is close. (CBC)

 A decision on layoffs is likely to be reached in September.

"This is truly disappointing news for our association and would make CBU the only university in the province to be laying off faculty and staff despite having a better fiscal history than other Nova Scotia universities," associate president Andrew Molloy said in a news release.

The university has also suffered financially as a result of falling numbers of international students.

With files from Wendy Bergfeldt

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