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Concordia University of Edmonton faculty votes in favour of strike

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The Concordia University of Edmonton’s faculty association could soon be the first in Alberta to go on strike.

Last week, 90 per cent of members voted in favour of the strike. The group represents 81 instructors, coordinators and librarians, and says an unreasonable workload is the number one issue facing its members.

Glynis Price with the faculty association says instructors operate on a four-four course load, which is standard, but are facing increasing research demands as the school looks to become a research institution.

“It’s very common across Canada if there are increasing research expectations to have a diminished teaching load so that faculty doesn’t become increasingly overwhelmed with the workload,” Price said, something she added hasn’t happened at Concordia.

In addition to research demands, Price says teachers also have departmental and committee duties, and larger class sizes mean the same schedule is more demanding.

“It has taken its toll. We see that manifesting across the faculty in mental health concerns, we see it in physical health concerns,” Price said.

“Our teaching conditions are the learning conditions for our students. If we are not at our best, we can’t give our best to our students.”

The association is asking for a workload that falls in line with comparable universities, and is continuing the bargaining process in the hopes of reaching an agreement. 

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