Custodial workers’ union prepared to negotiate “as long as it takes … but we need a willing partner at the bargaining table,” says CUPE 926 President Allan Savard.
Bargaining will resume tomorrow between Wilfrid Laurier University (WLU) and the union representing custodial, groundskeeping and trades workers on campus.
Representatives of Local 926 of the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE 926) are prepared to work for “as long as it takes to achieve a fair settlement, but we need a willing partner at the bargaining table,” said Allan Savard, President of CUPE 926.
The members of Local 926 have been trying for months to negotiate a fair collective agreement with WLU. This work has been severely constrained by WLU management’s insistence that the union accept a contract that effectively gives them ‘carte blanche’ to contract out virtually any job on campus.
The university recently announced its intention to contract out even more work on campus, including custodial positions at the new Global Building.
“We know that contracting out jobs, like custodial, degrades the quality of life on campus. It negatively impacts learning conditions, living conditions and working conditions. Contracting out hurts our campus and it hurts our community. How are we ‘inspiring lives’ when we harm our campus and our community by creating a dirtier campus that devalues people by turning good jobs into precarious, insecure work,” asked Savard.
Negotiators for CUPE 926 and WLU will meet tomorrow with a provincially-appointed conciliation officer in an effort to bridge the divide between the two sides.
“The university has a choice – they can continue to make demands that will harm the entire campus community, or they can come to the table in a spirit of goodwill and finish the job of negotiating a fair collective agreement with our members who are dedicated to creating a safe, clean living, learning and working environment,” said Savard.
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CUPE 926 President