ST. CATHARINES, ON – Front-line Brock university workers represented by the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) are seeking to improve the quality of education as management continues to focus on cutbacks and concession demands, with a pending lockout or strike deadline set for March 14, at 12:01 a.m.
“Our goal is to achieve a fair deal that enhances the quality of education at Brock,” said Dan Crow, president of CUPE 4207. “For close to a year now, we’ve heard nothing from management that comes close to meaningful bargaining or fruitful discussions that build Brock’s reputation. Instead, the administration continues to focus on cuts and concessions – that is why we are facing a lockout or strike deadline.”
Management’s failure to come prepared to negotiate, especially on the last day of conciliation talks, triggered the lockout or strike countdown. With mediation set to start on March 8, CUPE 4207 remains hopeful that with the help of a provincially appointed mediator, “the university’s administration will come back to the table focussing on achieving a deal so our members can devote all our attention to helping students at Brock,” continued Crow.
“Front-line workers are the real assets of Brock – we’re here every day trying to deliver an exceptional learning experience for the students,” said Crow. “Instead of investing in front-line workers, management continues to pursue budget cuts taking away necessary resources from the very workers who help run this university.”
Management’s unwillingness to invest adequate resources in the teaching and learning environment, understaffing, increased seminar sizes and continual focus on new buildings and fundraising activities for capital projects, have left front-line staff with low morale and feeling disrespected and neglected by senior management.
“It is time for management to recognize that new buildings alone will not deliver quality education at Brock,” said Crow. “It is front-line workers interacting with students, delivering vital services on campus, that will build the quality reputation that we are all trying to achieve. The administration should start investing in front-line staff.”
CUPE 4207 represents teaching assistants, part-time instructors, lab demonstrators, marker-graders, course coordinators and full-time coordinators in ESL. “A fair deal that enhances Brock’s reputation and elevates the quality of education will benefit us all – we are hopeful that management will work with us to achieve this goal and avert a strike or lockout that will hurt Brock.”
For more information, please contact:
Dan Crow, CUPE 4207 President, 905-931-8007
Lorelei Martin, CUPE National Representative, 905-641-3051
James Chai, CUPE Communications, 416-292-3999