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Saskatoon: Following a meeting with the employer yesterday, CUPE 1975 has agreed to  provide staff during the strike to cover essential services at the University of Saskatchewan.

In a letter to the employer sent today, the union outlines the areas where CUPE 1975 members will provide essential services.

While we are not prepared to consider all of your requests …, we do recognize those situations where our presence is critical,” CUPE staff representative Lois Lamon states in the letter. Most of the areas involve health and animal sciences. In Regina, the union will review the employer’s request for coverage in critical areas and assign members as needed.

With the issue of essential services settled, the union hopes the employer will turn its attention to settling the contract dispute, which escalated to a full-scale strike on Friday.

We’d like to see the employer at the bargaining table with a fair offer of settlement,” says Brad McKaig, chair of the CUPE 1975 bargaining unit. “That’s the only way this dispute will be resolved.”

The 2,400 CUPE 1975 members at the University of Saskatchewan and University of Regina include: cafeteria and food service workers, caretakers, security officers, clerical staff, library service workers, duplicating and printing staff, engineers and boiler operators, trades people, medical and lab technologists, nursing and dental assistants, farm workers and animal attendants.

CUPE 1975 members have been without a new agreement since December 31, 2006. 
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(*The strike vote does not include CUPE 1975 members employed at the First Nations University, Aramark, the USSU, Prairie Swine, PCS Elstow, MacKenzie Art Gallery and the U of S Faculty Club. They are covered under separate contract agreements.)

For more information contact: Brad McKaig  in Saskatoon at 229-6730

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