By Dale Miller
There is no surrender in sight as faculty and administration go head to head at Mount Royal College.
The Faculty Association commenced job action on Tue., Mar. 4, after failed talks with administration. Job action will see a cessation of office hours and out of class activities for all faculty.
“The faculty and Board of Governors negotiating teams met last evening [Monday],” said Dr. Jerre Paquette, past president of the Faculty Association. “The board made no new offers to resolve the impasse. No subsequent meetings are planned at this time.”
The faculty seeks a raise of 11.4 per cent, and has rejected the college’s offer of 9.25 per cent over two years. Also on the table are salaries for part time lab instructors.
Mount Royal’s vice-president of student affairs and campus life Ken Robson, did not return repeated requests asking for comment, however the information phone line did say that the board is keen on ending the job action.
“The board remains committed to resolving this contract dispute as quickly as possible,” stated the recording. “In order to continue providing a quality education for Mount Royal Students.”
The students-unlike faculty and administration-are refusing to remain idle in the face of the potentially lengthy and painful contract dispute.
“We have two different student groups on campus who are circulating petitions,” said Student Association president James Wood. “One petition is directed at the board saying that the have paid their tuition and they expect to get their moneys worth, the other petition is directed at the provincial government, addressing the lack of funding for post secondary education.”
Despite the obvious hardships for students, the faculty association says they are acting in the students’ best interests.
“We believe that failing to address the long-standing unacceptable working conditions of part-time faculty members in particular, will adversely affect students now and in the future,” said Paquette. “Our demands and actions have the support of students and faculty clearly in mind.”