The Acadia University Faculty Association (AUFA) is a trade union of Acadia faculty dedicated to ensuring fair working conditions for faculty and a high level of academic integrity at Acadia University.
Throughout the fall semester of 2021, the AUFA was engaged in contract negotiations with the Acadia Board of Governors. The Board walked away from these negotiations on November 2nd, prompting the AUFA to vote on a strong strike mandate. This essentially gave the AUFA the authority to call a strike if they felt that a suitable compromise could not be reached.
The next step was for an impartial province-appointed conciliator to come in and restart negotiations in an attempt to broker an agreement. These negotiations took place over the holiday break, but to little avail. The administration has stated that the demands of the AUFA are financially unrealistic and that they refuse to acknowledge the reality of the situation. Meanwhile, the AUFA holds that the board negotiating team “…doesn’t appear willing to put in the work to commit to a fair and equitable agreement.”, per AUFA president Andrew Biro. Since a compromise has not been reached, it has prompted a 14-day cooldown period starting on the 14th of January before further action can be taken.
It is as of yet uncertain what this further action will be. The Acadia administration has made it clear that they will not initiate a lockout, but without a satisfactory compromise the AUFA may decide to call a strike anytime after the 28th of January.
What does this mean for students? If a strike were to happen, all classes would be put on hold indefinitely until a compromise is reached. Likewise, most academic resources would be unavailable until such a time. Residence and meal hall would likely remain largely unaffected, but other than that Acadia would be more or less shut down until further notice. This would obviously be a huge inconvenience to students academically and perhaps financially.
That said, both the AUFA and the Acadia administration have expressed their commitment to preserving the academic integrity of the university and ensuring a quality education for its students. As such, we can only hope this commitment will ensure that both parties prioritize continued negotiation and communication in their efforts to reach a settlement.
We will be reporting further on this situation as it develops. If you have any questions or concerns please feel free to send them to us at [email protected] or reach out to us on Instagram @athacadia.
AUFA Press Releases: