ULFA Vice President, Chris Burton, and UL Calgary faculty member, Robbin Derry, traveled out to Université Sainte-Anne at Church Point, N.S. last week as “flying pickets”, supported by the CAUT Defence Fund. The Fund sponsors members from universities across Canada to visit striking faculties to strengthen and encourage local members in their efforts, recognizing the vital important of standing together as union members.
The members of the Association des Professeurs, Professeures et Bibliothécaires de l’Université Sainte-Anne (APPBUSA), the only French-speaking university in Nova Scotia, began striking on March 3 for better working conditions, pay equity with other academic institutions in the province, and inclusion in governance decision-making processes. These issues and concerns resonate with the ULFA members. The APPBUSA has been without a collective agreement since June 2021 and 8 months of bargaining failed to produce any meaningful progress. As they began their strike, the association issued a statement asking,
“Of what use is it to proclaim and claim that at Sainte-Anne we are a family, if so many members of this family – professors, students, support staff – are systematically excluded from major decision-making affecting us all?”
Flying pickets this past week at Université Sainte-Anne included faculty association members from UNB, Laurentian, Manitoba, UNBC, Western, Acadia, Dalhousie, U de Moncton, Memorial, as well as ULethbridge. Our colleagues at Sainte-Anne have been on strike for six weeks already and very much appreciate the support from across the country.
“Despite a blustering wind coming off the Bay of Fundy, it was a joyful gathering!” reported Robbin Derry. “Picketing and chanting in French with so many dedicated faculty members and students was an inspiring experience. Equité! Dignité! Justice!”