The University of Windsor needs to ‘get serious’ about negotiating a fair collective agreement with its food service and maintenance staff, the President of Local 1001 of the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE 1001) warned today.
“We’ve been meeting for months and have not made the progress we’d hoped to have made by this time,” said Dave Montgomery, President of CUPE 1001.
“That is why we have requested a ‘no-board’ report from the Ministry of Labour in the hopes that doing so, will help to focus our, and the University’s, attention where it needs to be, so that we can conclude a settlement that is fair to all parties and protects and preserves quality, post-secondary education at the University of Windsor,” he added.
The Ministry of Labour issues a no-board report at the request of one party during collective bargaining when the requesting party believes negotiations are at an impasse. When the ministry issues a no-board report, both parties have access to a provincially-appointed mediation officer. The issuance of a no-board report also begins a 17-day countdown to a lockout or a strike.
It is expected the university and the union will be in a legal lockout or strike position at 12:01 a.m., September 23.
“Our members certainly do not want to go on strike and a lockout would be extremely damaging to the university’s reputation, so we hope the university will ‘get serious’ about negotiating a fair agreement and come to the table prepared to bargain with us,” said Montgomery.
CUPE Local 1001 represents about 300 full-time and part-time food service, maintenance, groundskeeping, and janitorial staff at the University of Windsor. Outstanding issues include contracting out of vital operations at the university that have a major impact on the quality of campus life and the surrounding community, pension security and wages.
“Make no mistake, contracting out is wrong for the community and it’s wrong for our campus community of students. It exploits vulnerable people and takes money out of the community,” said Montgomery.
“We’re prepared to sit down and negotiate for as long as is needed to bargain a fair settlement that protects quality, post-secondary education, but there needs to be a willing partner sitting across the table from us,” he added.
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CUPE 1001 President