February 12, 2013

Students Nova Scotia today joins with the St. FX Students’ Union in calling on the St. FX Administration and AUT to move into binding arbitration and end their labour dispute. Importantly, students are not calling for a resolution within the framework of final-offer-by-package arbitration earlier proposed by St. FX’s administration. Rather, students would hope that the open arbitration could be permitted to find reasonable middle ground between the parties’ last proposals.

Students have allowed the university administration and the St. FX AUT to pursue their negotiations without interference to date. However, Nick Head-Petersen, St. FX Students’ Union President, says “we are deeply concerned at the current lack of movement and it is unclear that what remains on the table warrants extending the conflict.”

“We recognize and respect the faculty’s right to strike and believe they have won important concessions. However, we would like to see arbitration end the strike while ensuring a fair resolution for faculty, the administration, and present and future students.”

“With this call for binding arbitration, we’re not taking the side of the staff or administration, we’re taking the side of students”, said StudentsNS Executive Director Jonathan Williams. “Students are paying the price for this dispute, right now through loss of classes and in the long-term because of the agreement’s implications for education quality and campus services. We therefore want a resolution that’s fair to all parties, and to be fair to students the resolution needs to happen immediately.”

Williams noted that students believe strongly in the necessity of working together with both faculty and administration to ensure university spending is sustainable for the health of all institutions across the province. Only though responsible budgeting, consistent with the university’s academic mission and supportive of student success, will Nova Scotia continue to enjoy a world-class post-secondary education system.

Binding arbitration was used to resolve labour disputes at St. Thomas University in 2008, and at the NSCC in 2009.

For more information please contact:

Nick Head-Petersen, St. FX Students’ Union President
Phone: 902 867 2435
Email: su_pres@stfx.ca

Jonathan Williams, StudentsNS Executive Director
Phone: 902 422 4068
Cell phone: 902 483 5480
Email: director@studentsns.ca

Students Nova Scotia (StudentsNS), formerly the Alliance of Nova Scotia Student Associations, is a not-for-profit and non-partisan advocacy group that represents 87% of Nova Scotia university students. Our 37,471 members study at Acadia, Cape Breton, Dalhousie, Saint Mary’s, and St. Francis Xavier Universities and the Atlantic School of Theology.