Nova Scotia

Province appoints mediator in Université Sainte-Anne strike

A mediator is stepping in to help resolve the strike at Nova Scotia’s only French-language post-secondary school.

Professors and librarians have been off the job since March 3

Faculty at Université Sainte-Anne have been on strike since March 3. (Darryl Whetter)

A mediator is stepping in to help resolve a strike at Nova Scotia's only French-language post-secondary school.

Professors and librarians at Université Sainte-Anne have been on the picket line since March 3. The university has five campuses across the province.

"The strike has been going on for six weeks and I know it's stressful for students, faculty and staff," said Labour Minister Jill Balser in a statement.

The province has appointed Michelle Flaherty to mediate in the dispute beginning Monday. Flaherty is a former associate professor of law at the University of Ottawa who specializes in labour, employment and human rights matters.

Negotiations began last fall

The last collective agreement was initially set to expire in July 2020, but the parties agreed to an extension because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Negotiations began last October and the first meeting between the two sides with a conciliator was held Jan. 20.

The association representing the professors and librarians has said it is seeking pay equity with professors in English-speaking institutions and a rebalancing of the workload.

Last week, the administration of the school posted an update online stating the association had rejected bringing all outstanding issues before a three-person conciliation board.

Classes had been expected to end this week, and an extension of the semester is a possibility.

The province appointed a mediator to help in the strike at Acadia University earlier this year. That dispute lasted four weeks.

A mediator was also brought in three years ago during the 11-day strike at NSCAD University


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