The faculty strike at Nipissing University is officially over.
The Nipissing University Faculty Association (NUFA) announced Wednesday night that the tentative agreement reached between the Full-Time Academic Bargaining Unit (FASBU) and Nipissing has been ratified by the bargaining unit with 93% voting in favour.
"From the outset we knew that this was going to be a really tough negotiation, said NUFA President Susan Srigley. “The most important factor in fighting against clawbacks and making some gains was the unity of our Members. They gave us the strength to get the Employer back to the table to make a fair deal."
Some of the highlights include:
- the creation of a special commission on Governance to examine Nipissing University's governance structures in relationship to the best practices at other Canadian universities. This joint commission will include Board, Faculty and Student representation.
- 12 additional weeks of maternity leave top-up for birth mothers
- improved tenure and promotion language, privacy language, health and safety language
- improved benefits for retirees, including an increase to their health care spending accounts
- a phased-in retirement plan
- preservation of language that protects the terms and conditions of limited term contract faculty
- a 4 year contract
- increases to salary over four years of 0%, 1.5%, 1.75% and 1.75%
- two steps added to the ceiling of the salary grid across all ranks
“All NUFA Members can be proud of this deal. It puts us on the path to fix some of the structural problems at Nipissing, to resist the growth of casualized labour, and to start bridging the gap in our members' salaries relative to other faculty across the province. The real work starts now to ensure that faculty voices are heard,” said Hilary Earl, FASBU Chief Negotiator.
Meanwhile, the Board of Governors voted unanimously to accept the agreement on Friday, November 27, in a special meeting.
“It is wonderful news for our students and our community that we have a ratified agreement in place with our full-time faculty members,” said Dr. Mike DeGagné, president and vice-chancellor.
“I’m especially happy for our students. Their academic and personal well-being is our top priority, and we know this has been very difficult for them. We are pleased that students can now concentrate on getting the most out of their Nipissing University experience and we can get back to celebrating our faculty for their teaching and research excellence.”
Students reps were also, as expected happy to see an end to the labour unrest.
“As students, we are very happy and relieved that a new four-year deal is in place,” said Ian Hall, president of the Nipissing University Student Union. “We are excited to be back in class with our professors to continue working and learning. We are working with faculty and administration to ensure the needs of students are addressed as we determine how the remainder of the term will be made up. NUSU is also looking forward to organizing a number of events and activities in the coming months to help students make the most of their time at Nipissing, socially and academically.”