CBU fac­ulty rat­i­fies new con­tract

Cape Breton Post - - CAPE BRETON - BY DAVID JALA david.jala@cb­post.com

The Cape Bre­ton Univer­sity Fac­ulty As­so­ci­a­tion has rat­i­fied the ten­ta­tive agree­ment it reached ear­lier this month with the post-sec­ondary in­sti­tu­tion.

In a vote held over three days last week, the CBUFA gave for­mal con­sent to the deal with 103 mem­bers vot­ing in favour and 20 mem­bers vot­ing against the pact. The univer­sity’s board of gover­nors unan­i­mously rat­i­fied the agree­ment dur­ing a meet­ing on Feb. 13.

The three-year con­tract in­cludes an an­nual wage hike of 1.25 per cent and clar­i­fi­ca­tion of the lan­guage used in the deal in re­gard to the is­sue of when lay­offs might hap­pen.

Ac­cord­ing to CBUFA com­mu­ni­ca­tions chair An­drew Reynolds, the new lan­guage is much bet­ter for its mem­ber­ship that in­cludes more than 150 pro­fes­sors, li­brar­i­ans, ar­chiv­ists, lab in­struc­tors, nurs­ing prac­tice ed­u­ca­tors, and re­search chairs.

“It now ac­tu­ally men­tions fi­nan­cial dis­tress whereas the old lan­guage only in­di­cated that fi­nan­cial rea­sons were needed for lay­offs, which ba­si­cally al­lowed the pres­i­dent to say ‘hey, there are rea­sons to lay peo­ple off’,” said Reynolds.

“Now it has been made clear what those rea­sons will be and they have to be sig­nif­i­cant and se­ri­ous deficits to the op­er­at­ing bud­get or to tu­ition in­come.” Prior to the lan­guage change, the as­so­ci­a­tion ex­pressed con­cern that the word­ing of Ar­ti­cle 39, the so-called lay­off clause, would lead to im­mi­nent job cuts as the univer­sity was al­ready fac­ing a $3.5-mil­lion deficit over the next twoand-a-half years.

The con­tract is retroac­tive to July 1, 2016, and will ex­pire on June 30, 2019.

Both Reynolds and Dale Keefe, CBU’s in­terim pres­i­dent, said they are pleased the con­tract is now a done deal.

“We’re thrilled to have a con­tract now in place for our fac­ulty as­so­ci­a­tion,” said Keefe. “This is an ex­cit­ing time for CBU as we look to the fu­ture and work to­ward cre­at­ing an even stronger univer­sity — CBU fac­ulty plays an in­te­gral role in the CBU and CB com­mu­ni­ties, so we’re very much look­ing for­ward to con­tinue to work with them.”

The CBU board of gover­nors re­jected a ten­ta­tive agree­ment in a vote Dec. 9 and dis­missed for­mer univer­sity pres­i­dent David Wheeler from his job be­cause of how he con­ducted con­tract talks with the union while by­pass­ing the in­sti­tu­tion’s ne­go­ti­at­ing team.



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