Negotiation FAIL

The Aquinian

UNB and its full-time faculty edged closer to a strike or lockout after talks between the administration and the faculty union ended without a resolution.

Both parties now have about two weeks to decide on a course of action, which could include a conciliation board, a committee formed to assist in conflict resolution.

The union, however, has publicly stated that it’s unlikely such a board will be formed.

Their last collective agreement ended on June 30, and this latest development marks the end of nearly seven months of negotiations.

If no action has been taken within 15 days, there’s a weeklong waiting period before both parties are in a lockout or strike position, bringing any potential work stoppage close to the end of the semester.

Mark Henick, president of the St. Thomas student’s union, said this puts students under a lot of stress.

“Psychologically, it certainly is very difficult, especially for students in professional programs, when they have to get out into the job market, or anybody applying to graduate school,” he said. “So it really makes students need to question their future, and that’s not something they should need to question.”

Henick, one of about 2,500 students who lived through a rancorous 2008 labour dispute between STU faculty and administration, said he was hopeful both sides would come to a resolution soon.

“I think it is good they’re keeping it civil,” he said. “They’re not doing their fight in the media, and that they’re not involving their students in the same kind of way that they did at St. Thomas, in terms of playing students off one side or the other.”

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