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Nova Scotia College of Art and Design Faculty Begin Strike

HALIFAX, CANADA—Ninety-five full- and part-time faculty at the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design initiated a strike Friday, March 1, to petition for fairer compensation and workloads and more secure employment contracts. Faculty have been teaching without a collective agreement since June 2018; bargaining with university administration began in July. The Faculty Union of the Nova Scotia College of the Art and Desing (FUNSCAD) voted 97.5% in favor of the strike and is comprised of two units representing faculty and technical, library, and gallery staff.

In the last three years, NSCAD has increased enrollment and closed a budget deficit that forced the Halfiax art school to explore merger options with nearby colleges. Dianne Taylor-Gearing, president of NSCAD University, told the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation that the university has offered what it believes is a fair deal. “I know the faculty are making a point of their sacrifice,” she said. We’ve all worked to the benefit of the institution because we believe in it passionately. However it still comes back to if you cannot afford a demand by the union, it just simply isn’t affordable.”

Classes taught by non-union faculty will continue during the strike, and students striking in solidarity with FUNSCAD will not be penalized. Kassidy Bernard, president of the school’s student union, said, “We know that good working conditions for them means that we’ll be receiving a better learning environment. We know that our faculty are excellent at what they do. They are really passionate and they love their practice as well as teaching students. They make NSCAD great.”

March 1, 2019