Strike midway through third week
Students at Mount Allison marched Wednesday to urge the university and its faculty to come to an agreement.
© Katie Tower - TC Media
Students at Mount Allison marched Wednesday to urge the university and its faculty to come to an agreement
By Katie Tower
SACKVILLE, N.B. – Mount Allison administration and striking faculty members headed back to the bargaining table Wednesday but that doesn’t mean students at the university are not continuing to do all they can to get back to class ASAP.
About 50 Mount A students gathered Wednesday for a rally, marching through downtown Sackville and around campus, calling on both parties to settle this labour dispute quickly and save the semester.
Ryan Harley, Mount Allison Students’ Union (MASU) vice-president academic, said the message of the rally was simple: students want to return to class.
“We want a fair contract now but we can’t afford to wait any longer,” said Harley, noting that MASU will not hesitate to ask the provincial government for further intervention if a resolution can’t be reached soon.
MASU president Melissa O'Rourke said she hopes these types of demonstrations and rallies will help facilitate a return to class.
“We’re really hoping something like this is going to end the strike,” she said. “We’re hoping to put as much pressure on both parties as we can to make sure these negotiations end as quickly as they can so you guys can get back to class.”
The administration and the faculty association (MAFA) have been asked back to the table this week by the Minister of Post-Secondary Education Jody Carr, who has appointed a special mediator to help both parties come to an agreement.
But that doesn’t mean students are taking it for granted that a deal will be reached.
MASU is in the process of collecting signatures on a petition that they will hand to the provincial government later this week, asking for further intervention should these talks not be successful.
“In case these negotiations break down, we want to make sure there is a back-up plan so that we go back to class as quickly as we can,” said O’Rourke.