The Association of Professors and Librarians of Université Sainte-Anne (APPBUSA) deplores the communication strategy of the university administration, which approaches attempts at disinformation. Since the beginning of negotiations, the administration has refused to clearly present its positions to the university community and has made incomplete statements. For example, they maintained that they were ready to negotiate, while delaying for three weeks and failing to mention the union’s repeated invitations to return to the table.
Now, in its statement of March 31, the administration claims to have accepted arbitration, but the truth is that, by imposing the withdrawal of 44 clauses, it has refused arbitration. Their misleading message caused great confusion among the university community and, especially, dashed the hopes of the students who thought they would soon be returning to class.
With respect to the management rights which concern the administration, they have again failed to communicate crucial contextual information. Clause 7.1 of the current collective agreement states that:
The Council, within the framework of its rights and obligations as described in the Law constituting the University, retains the exclusive power to manage and operate the University except where explicitly limited by this agreement.
In other words, management rights are already constrained by the collective agreement and any renewal of that agreement must consider them.
APPBUSA calls on the administration to show leadership on this file and to communicate its intentions transparently to the university community and to the people of Nova Scotia. A disinformation strategy is irresponsible and undermines the credibility of the institution. It impedes progress and instead adds to the frustration of a conflict that has already taken too long. This way of doing things is unworthy of our university. It is damaging to the community’s confidence in the university’s management of labour relations.