OTTAWA, Ont. – Professional, office, technical and support staff at Carleton University, represented by the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE), voted 94 per cent yesterday in favour of a strike, if a deal cannot be reached with the university’s administration.
“We had a very large turnout for the vote, and this strong strike mandate should signal to the administration that our members are prepared to do what it takes to get a fair contract,” said CUPE national representative Susan Arab. CUPE 2424 represents 700 workers at Carleton, who’ve been working without a contract since June 30, 2007. They will be in a legal strike or lockout position at 12:01 am, September 5.
“Unfortunately, Carleton’s administration has a habit of pushing things to the wire, dragging their heels in negotiations, and refusing to make serious attempts to settle contracts until the university is faced with the risk of a strike or lockout,” warned Arab. “Management is offering our members less than half the raise they awarded to faculty earlier this year, while demanding concessions – that’s totally unacceptable and discriminatory. We urge management negotiators to come to the table and make serious efforts to reach a negotiated settlement before the strike deadline this time.”
Outstanding issues include wages, benefits, job postings and employment security. A strike or lockout would suspend all office work at the university, IT support, libraries and other technical and support functions. Mediation talks have been scheduled for August 30, and September 3 and 4. CUPE offered to meet August 31 and throughout the Labour Day long weekend, but Carleton administration officials refused.
“We invite students, parents and the university community to contact Carleton’s administration, to demand they reach a settlement quickly,” said Arab. “Bargaining down to the wire creates unnecessary added stress for students and staff, at a time when getting ready for the new academic year should be all they have to worry about.”
For further information, please contact:
Susan Arab, CUPE National Representative: 613-237-0115, 613-769-7553 (cell)
Robert Lamoureux, CUPE Communications: 416-292-3999