Nova Scotia

Faculty at Cape Breton University vote in favour of strike action

The CBU faculty association says contract negotiations over the summer made little progress.

Sydney university says it hopes to reach an agreement with staff

The Cape Breton University Faculty Association has voted 92 per cent in favour of a strike action. (Vaughan Merchant)

Cape Breton University (CBU) professors have voted overwhelmingly in favour of a strike action after they say negotiations made little progress over the summer.

The university's faculty association issued a press release Friday saying 92 per cent of members voted in favour of a workplace disruption. A total of 198 ballots cast were cast. 

The Sydney guild represents 216 professors, librarians, lab instructors, nursing practice educators and specialists.

"This is a strong mandate," said Peter MacIntyre, a faculty association spokesperson, in a press release.

"Members have become increasingly frustrated by the lack of progress toward an agreement. The faculty association came to the table ready to negotiate an agreement, the employer did not. They abandoned the most recent meetings — ghosted us at the table — and now it is time to take action."

CBC News contacted the university for comment Friday and was referred to an update on its website. It says officials met with the faculty association's bargaining committee on July 8, 18, 19, 20 and Aug. 9.

MacIntyre said one contentious proposal put forward by their employer would substantially increase the workloads for some members and all but eliminate their ability to conduct research, while at the same time offering no protections under a layoff clause.

The university's statement said "teaching scholars" are employed at other Canadian universities. The new positions would "enhance the student experience and bring more stability to our programs with high enrolment of international students," it said, adding CBU hopes to reach an agreement with staff.