Nova Scotia

NSCAD instructors vote 93% in favour of strike

Instructors at NSCAD University, the former Nova Scotia College of Art and Design, have voted 93 per cent in favour of a strike.

Instructors at NSCAD University in Halifax, the former Nova Scotia College of Art and Design, have voted 93 per cent in favour of a strike.

The full and part-time faculty cast their ballots in support Thursday.

The major issue is the increasing number of casuals teaching courses and the future of the university itself, which is under review by the Province.

The school is facing a $2.4 million shortfall this year.

In September, former provincial deputy minister Howard Windsor was appointed to examine the future of the university.

He's working with the school's board of governors to look at how to alleviate financial pressures at the school, including possibly merging with another school or reorganizing the courses it offers.

The school's board of governors voted unanimously to remain autonomous in September.

Windsor will report his finding to Advanced Education Minister Marilyn More by the end of the month.

Economist Tim O'Neill released a report last fall that named NSCAD as one of six universities deemed "at risk" because of looming financial problems.

The school's support staff voted overwhelmingly in favour of a strike last week. Joan Jessome, president of the Nova Scotia Government and General Employees Union, said there are a number of issues.

"A major issue at this table is the employer's demands to take away the employee's say in changes to their benefit plan," Jessome said in a release last week.

She said other issues include wages, job security and shift premiums.

The faculty union and a second bargaining unit representing technicians who help students with their labs and fine arts projects are scheduled to meet with a conciliator next week.

NSCAD will celebrate the 125th anniversary of its founding in 2012.