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Sessional lecturers at the Universit 0064u Qub0065c 0054rois-Rivir0065s accepted a mediation report January 8 that brings an end to their longstanding dispute with the university. With 75 per cent of the more than 200 lecturers voting at a general meeting to accept the settlement, the new agreement provides for annual salaries rather than a fee per course and important salary gains. By the end of the agreement in 2005, the annual salary for a seven-course load will increase to between $46,000 and $60,000 depending on seniority and qualifications. Until now, lecturers were paid a flat rate of $4,800 per course regardless.

In addition to the improvements in wages and working conditions, the sessionals wanted to ensure their responsibilities for supervising students were recognized, work that they now perform on a voluntary basis.

This is an important gain both for the sessionals and for the students, said CUPE Local 2661 president Robert Bellerose.

Having made important gains after two months on strike, the CUPE members have set the pattern for other sessional lecturers in Quebec who are too often considered cheap labour in the university sector.