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Classes resume at University of Lethbridge after faculty strike

The University of Lethbridge The University of Lethbridge

Students at the University of Lethbridge headed back to class on Wednesday after a nearly two-month-long break due to a faculty strike.

Job action at the University of Lethbridge ended Monday evening after members of the faculty association voted to ratify a new collective agreement.

University of Lethbridge Faculty Association (ULFA) members voted 91 per cent in favour of the new agreement.

"I'm honestly really happy to be back and just finish off the semester," said second-year music student Adam Collins on Wednesday.

Others students though expressed concern over their course load.

"Oh my gosh, the stress is beyond belief," said first-year student Taryn Hiebert. "It's crazy,"

"Even just the difference between going from doing nothing to going to ‘wow you have classes in two days’ is insane."

"It's been like six weeks – forty days – since we've been in classes, so the content is kind of hard to keep hold of now," said Ashkan Mosabebomren, a first-year biology student.

In a letter to students, U of L president Mike Mahon said "Throughout the interruption to our semester, we heard from many of you about the challenges that arose. I am regretful of those impacts, but we are committed to working with our faculty members to minimize those impacts."

The U of L has also extended the semester from April 21 to May 5 to ensure all courses can be completed.

To help ease the financial burden, the school has announced multiple initiatives and compensation for students to make up lost time, including:

  • A 20 per cent tuition credit for continuing students and equivalent refund for graduating students;
  • A reduction in sport and recreation services fee credit by 25 per cent;
  • Waiving of the U of L's administrative fee on UPass;
  • Waiving of interest incurred on student accounts during the strike;
  • Two months-worth of credit of parking fees for students holding permits; and
  • Waving of semester extension on-campus housing fees for residence students beyond the initial April 21st deadline.

"I'm very happy that they're not making us pay for an extended," said Mosabebomren, who lives in residence on campus.

"If they did that, that would be honestly inexcusable because they're the reason why we got into this strike, and making us pay for their mistake wouldn't make sense."

Some students are still annoyed with how long the strike lasted.

"I would've preferred it to have been delegated weeks ago," said Tina Martens, a fourth-year drama and fine arts student.

"I think admin was a bit stubborn with negotiations. Of course, I don't know all the information, that's just how I feel with the information I've been given."

"Students have been used as a pawn in a game between two organizations, it was kind of like a peeing contest at this point," complained Amy Mendenhall, a fourth-year indigenous studies student.

While the majority of classes at the U of L are still online, some are back to being held in person.

For more information on the remainder of the semester, you can visit the University of Lethbridge’s website. Top Stories

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