OTTAWA, Ont. – Stationary engineers at Carleton University, represented by the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE), have asked a conciliation officer from the ministry of Labour to assist with contract talks after the university tabled inferior wage offers compared to what other employee groups negotiated.
“We are trying to reach a negotiated settlement, but the university has failed to offer us what they gave other university employees in wage increases,” said Bob Lewis, president of CUPE Local 3778. “The Union is trying to forestall an Employer move to hire part-time employees. “The workplace is already understaffed, and we need people who will give a full-time commitment to Carleton University,” said Lewis. “Besides undermining our job security, this practice undermines the quality and continuity of our work – and that’s not in the best interest of students.”
CUPE represents eight stationary engineers at Carleton who ensure heating and cooling systems are running properly, in what has become a highly regulated function. “Without us on the job, the heat would fail and students would suffer this winter,” said Lewis. “That’s why we can’t understand why management would fail to offer us an equitable settlement.”
The university has already settled contracts with office, professional, maintenance and custodial workers, but has so far failed to table similar wage offers for stationary engineers. Conciliation talks are scheduled for November 17th and 18th. CUPE has begun strike preparations in case talks fail to reach a settlement.
“We are the people who make sure students and staff have the best possible learning and working environments,” said Lewis. “We hope university management will recognize the value of our work and do what’s necessary to settle our contract without forcing a strike.”
. For further information, please contact:
President, CUPE 3778
CUPE National Representative Ottawa office