Dalhousie University, CUPE to resume negotiations next week

Talks are scheduled to resume next week in a strike involving instructors and teaching assistants at Dalhousie University. (Eric Woolliscroft/CBC - image credit)
Talks are scheduled to resume next week in a strike involving instructors and teaching assistants at Dalhousie University. (Eric Woolliscroft/CBC - image credit)

Dalhousie University and CUPE are scheduled to return to the bargaining table on Wednesday as a strike involving part-time instructors and teaching assistants stretches into Day 10.

The university says Nov. 2 and 3 have been set aside for talks.

CUPE Local 3912 has about 1,500 members at Dalhousie. They are looking for a wage increase.

The union has been bargaining with Dalhousie's board of governors since November 2020.

Dalhousie teaching assistants are paid $24 per hour. The union says teaching assistants at Western University are paid double that amount.

The university has remained open but classes taught by CUPE members have been suspended.

Students concerned 

Second-year nursing student Lauren Perrie said she does not know what the strike means for her clinical experience at a long-term care home, which is scheduled for next month.

"It's kind of scary knowing that I'm going to be responsible for someone's life one day and knowing that I didn't have the right amount of experience, or that my experience got cut back because of the strike that's happening here at Dal," said Perrie

Patrick Callaghan/CBC
Patrick Callaghan/CBC

Perrie said their semesters are condensed with final exams just two weeks away.

With assignments not being marked, she said one professor has had to weigh their final exam at 50 per cent.

"We're the future faces of nurses in Nova Scotia, we're not getting our hands on experience so we're going to be going into working as a registered nurse in the hospital completely unprepared because we're not getting the right experience in lab and clinical to get that right experience," she said.

Patrick Callaghan/CBC
Patrick Callaghan/CBC

Other students say they believe they are falling behind with no teaching assistants.

"We don't have any labs or tutorials and I feel like that's where the real learning happens," said first–year science student Hussaina Joher.

Joher says there is no one to help clarify the new information taught in lectures because professors are now answering questions from many students.

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