OTTAWA Talks aimed at preventing a strike by Local 2424 of the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE), representing over 650 administrative, technical and support staff at Carleton University, broke down Friday, August 20th, after the University administration failed to make any moves towards a settlement. A strike is now likely when classes begin in September.
Carleton University refused to move an inch from its previous offer, says CUPE Local 2424 president Karen Martin. As a result, CUPE requested a No Board report from the Ministry of Labour, starting the countdown to a legal strike or lockout.
They picked our pockets by reducing pension plan benefits and then offered us a wage increase below industry standards, says Martin. The very day we were negotiating, university vice-president Duncan Watt boasted about the universitys very prosperous financial position, announcing $60 million in construction projects in a televised interview, added Martin.
The university reduced pension plan benefits, saving the university millions of dollars annually, in addition to more than $3 million in savings due to reduced contributions over the last 3 years, says Martin. Dental benefits for retired workers is also an issue.
Were also dealing with excessive workloads, resulting in excessive amounts of overtime and increasing difficulties in the ability of members to take leave entitlements, says Martin. University management is pushing for a strike and showing a total lack of respect for our members.
As a result, CUPE 2424 will be meeting with members to prepare for appropriate job action. The workers will also reach out to the Carleton Community and Ottawa residents for support.
For more information:
President, CUPE 2424
CUPE National Representative