Atlantic School of Theology Faculty Association (ASTFA) is the certified bargaining agent for all full-time and long-term faculty and professional librarians at Atlantic School of Theology (AST). First established in 1998 as an association, it voted to certify under the Nova Scotia Trade Union Act on December 11, 2009. The union was certified by order of the Nova Scotia Labour Relations Board on January 6, 2010.
ASTFA represents its members in all matters of employer–employee relations, including salaries and working conditions. The association also strives to promote the joint interests and welfare of its affiliated associations: the Association of Nova Scotia University Teachers (ANSUT), the Canadian Association of University Teachers (CAUT), and the CAUT Defence Fund.
ASTFA is run by elected officers and depends on the active participation of all its members. Association affairs are managed by an Executive Committee currently comprised of, in 2020–2021:
Every member of ASTFA is a member of CAUT and receives all the benefits that membership brings. Founded in 1951, CAUT serves as “the national voice for academic staff” in Canada. The issues with which CAUT is concerned include threats to academic freedom and tenure, the quality and accessibility of post-secondary education, and the protection and enhancement of economic benefits for its members. All members receive the CAUT Bulletin, which offers articles on academic and institutional matters, as well as practical guides to such things as income taxes and sabbatical leaves.
The CAUT Defence Fund was founded in 1978 to provide unionized academic staff associations with a unified strike fund. Among other things, the Fund provides benefits to associations while its members are on strike or locked out and experiencing loss of salary. Its member associations, some 65 in number, are all members of CAUT and represent over 36,000 academics in Canada. As of 2019, its assets totaled over $30 million.
Every member of ASTFA also belongs to ANSUT, which provides a formal means of communicating with most other faculty associations in Nova Scotia and represents member associations in such matters as advocacy and consultation on provincial government policy on post-secondary education. ANSUT publishes an occasional Newsletter, which all members receive.
On July 22, 2009, ASTFA and Saint Mary’s University Faculty Union (SMUFU) signed a service agreement that links the two organizations together in a unique and exciting way. While both organizations continue to be completely separate and solely responsible for representing their own members, this partnership is a significant sign of the desire to work collectively and in solidarity to achieve the best work environment possible at both Universities.
Our members participate in diverse academic and religious contexts through their membership in such organizations as:
American Academy of Religion
American Library Association
Atlantic Provinces Library Association
Canadian Association for Pastoral Practice and Education
Canadian Association of College and University Libraries
Canadian Association of Spiritual Care
Canadian Centre for Ethics in Public Affairs (CCEPA)
Canadian Corporation for the Study of Religion
Canadian Federation of Social Sciences and Humanities
Canadian Library Association
Canadian Society of Biblical Studies
Canadian Theological Society
Catholic Biblical Association of America
Genealogical Association of Nova Scotia
Halifax Library Association
Karl Barth Society for North America
North American Patristics Society
Nova Scotia Writer’s Federation
The American Association of Field Educators
The Institute of Pastoral Training
The Journal of Spirituality and Mental Health
Société Historique Acadienne
Society of Biblical Literature
Society of Christian Philosophers
Society for the Study of Theology
Virginia Woolf Society