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Sherbrooke, Tuesday, February 25, 2003 – During a secret ballot held today, support employees assigned to research activities at the Universit 0064e Sherbrooke (UdeS) voted 86.6% in favour of a mandate “to strike when the time is right.” If a strike is called, the work stoppage will involve some 120 employees who participate in scientific research at the University in Sherbrooke.

The labour contract for research personnel expired on May 31, 2001. Bargaining with the UdeS has been underway for over two years and is currently at an impasse. Eighteen points are being disputed including wages. The UdeS has offered nothing for 2001, 2002 and 2003.

Union president, Alain Aub,0020considers that “today’s vote sends a very clear message to the University management.” In fact he considers that the employees’ patience is reaching its limits and that “the research file needs to be settled within the next few weeks. For our part,” he added, “we have no intention of simply continuing discussions for a third year.”

Research support staff belong to the Syndicat des employe0073 et employs0020de soutien de l’UdeS (SEESUS), which represents some 1,100 support staff employed by the University. However it is a separate unit from the general union. This group obtained its first collective agreement in 1998 following a unionization movement that lasted some ten years, a real legal saga between the University and SEESUS.

SEESUS is an important component of the university sector of the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE). With close to 100,000 members in Qub0065c, CUPE represents about 8,000 members in universities, mainly support staff. Active in several other sectors including communications, municipalities, health and social services, hydroelectricity, urban and air transportation, provincial corporations and public organizations, CUPE is also the largest FTQ affiliate.

This press release and other information are posted on the Internet at scfp.qc.ca

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Alain Aub,0020President, SEESUS (CUPE-9835) : (819) 572-2456
Robert Bellerose, CUPE Communications cell.: (514) 247-9266