KINGSTON – Queen’s University’s 430 unionized workers launched an ad and flyer distribution campaign today to protest years of disrespect by management – something they want to change in this round of contract negotiations. The campaign kicks off in preparation for mediated talks with the university scheduled for January 14-16, 2004. The parties will be in a legal lockout or strike position as of next week Saturday. The library and lab technicians, trades and custodial staff are members of CUPE Locals 229, 254 and 1302 and say they are ready to strike for contract language that guarantees management “act in good faith.”
“We love our jobs and are proud of the part we play in making Queen’s University a great place to study, teach and research. But that excellence needs to be reflected in the way that Queen’s management treats its university workers,” says John Lepine, CUPE National Representative. “All we’re asking for is respect. It’s not too much to ask for.”
The three CUPE Locals are all demanding contract language that binds the university to “act in good faith”. They charge university management with a negative attitude toward joint and cooperative efforts to resolve issues and problems that naturally arise in the workplace; poor labour relations that are counterproductive and disrespectful resulting in frustration and low morale; and attacks on their job security on the heels of 10 years of staff and resource reductions.
“This is the dark side of Queen’s University,” continues Lepine. “We want to engage in real and productive dialogue with management. We’ve waited long enough.” The current contract expired June 30, 2003.
The ads and flyers ask faculty, students, staff and community members to visit the Comments section on the Queen’s University website at http://www.queensu.ca/qsite/forms/comments.shtml and can be found on campus and Kingston newspapers as well as at www.cupe.ca They demand that management treat university workers with respect and guarantee that with a good faith clause in the contract.
A strike vote will be held on Tuesday, January 13th, 2004.
CUPE 229 (Trades, Custodial and Maintenance), CUPE 254 (Technicians) and CUPE 1302 (Library Technicians) represent 430 workers at Queen’s University. The Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) represents 530,000 members across Canada.
For more information, please contact:
John Lepine, CUPE National Representative c: (613) 540-2863
Diane Kalen, CUPE Communications c: (647) 224-0662