NSCAD unions ratify agreements; avoid strike

FUNSCAD Units I and II ratify their tentative agreements with administration after five months of bargaining.


Photo: Laura Oakley

Unionized faculty and staff at Nova Scotia College of Art and Design have chosen to ratify a tentative agreement reached with management instead of going on strike.
The two bargaining units for the Faculty Union at NSCAD represent full-time and part-time faculty, librarians, technicians, and gallery and library staff.
The union and NSCAD administration had been bargaining for the past five months. The union has been in a position to strike since Nov. 5.
Alvin Comiter, FUNSCAD president confirmed on Friday that both sides have ratified the agreements, although nothing had been officially signed yet.
The 18-month contract will expire on Dec. 31, 2012, beginning retroactively July 1.
"The biggest concession we made [in the contract] was it not be required to replace retired full-time staff," Comiter says of the agreement.
The union also accepted a zero percent wage increase.
FUNSCAD improved the situation for part-time staff by securing health benefits that they did not have before, and increasing the cap on the number of courses they can teach.
Both sides expect negotiations to restart in fall 2012.

Windsor's report

Comiter says that no one at the union has seen Howard Windsor's much-anticipated report.
"We understand that a draft version has been given to the minister, and that it is still confidential. We don't know what's in it," he adds.
Labour and Advanced Education Minister, Marilyn More, appointed Windsor to evaluate NSCAD's financial viability in September, shortly after it was reported the school faced $2.4 million shortfall this year.
The report has been delivered to More, and the department it currently reviewing it. It is not known if the contents of the report will be made public.


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