Striking faculty continuing to gain support from fellow academia

Katie Tower
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SACKVILLE, N.B. – As week two of the Mount Allison University strike drew to a close last week, faculty out on the picket lines continued to gain plenty of support from their peers across the country, as evidenced by another solidarity rally on Friday afternoon.

While the Mount Allison Faculty Association has received support from a number of students throughout the two-and-a-half weeks they've been on strike, not all students are behind them. Above, fouth-year student Greg McLaughlin adds his voice to the mix during a MAFA solidarity rally Friday afternoon in downtown Sackviile, carrying a sign calling for an end to the strike and letting both parties know students' educations should not be used as bargaining chips in a labour dispute.

Once again led by drummers and chanting slogans and singing, fellow academic staff from more than a dozen Canadian universities marched around the university campus, ending at the bandstand in downtown Sackville. Some students also attended the event in support of their professors.

“We’ve seen an enormous amount of support coming our way,” said professor Michael Fox, a member of the Mount Allison Faculty Association (MAFA), during the rally. “And we want to say thanks to all of you for the unbelievable outpouring of support, which helps keep morale high.

The Canadian Association of University Teachers (CAUT) Defence Fund has over 20,000 members from 50 unions and sends “flying pickets” when a member union is on strike.

And just as they did last week, the picketers once again brought with them messages of support as well as financial donations for Mount Allison Faculty Association’s cause. Messsages included: “We feel your strength and determination to win this for the principles that are important.”; “You have to do this to make sure you’re treated fairly, so everyone is treated fairly.”; “We were here last week, we’re here this week, and we’ll be here as long as it takes. If you stand strong, in the end, you will have victory.”

MAFA president Loralea Michaelis thanked the students, in particular, for their support and patience during the strike and promised them faculty would return to the classroom “as soon as we can.”

“It’s regrettable it hasn’t been solved yet,” she said. “We’re doing the best we can.”

Organizations: Mount Allison Faculty Association, Canadian Association of University, Defence Fund

Geographic location: Sackville

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