WINDSOR, Ont. – Two locals of the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) reached an impasse in bargaining with the University of Windsor yesterday, as the administration continued to demand concessions and failed to move towards fair contract settlements in conciliation talks. “We have asked the conciliation officer to file a ‘no-board’ report with the ministry of Labour, starting the countdown to a legal strike or lockout in early September,” said CUPE national representative Joel Bentley.
“The administration is determined to roll back many provisions in our collective agreements, including job security, monetary and benefit concessions,” said Aldo DiCarlo, president of CUPE 1393, representing 210 technical, professional and trades staff at the university.
“The university wants to further cut part-time hours to create 6, 8 or 9 hour per week positions – it’s impossible to create a stable work environment that way,” said James Kehoe, CUPE 1001 vice-president, representing 400 custodial, food services, trades assistants, grounds and shipping and receiving employees.
“Both of our CUPE locals have begun strike preparations, with near unanimous strike votes,” said Bentley. “With monetary, benefit concessions and weakened job security and advancement clauses on the table, the administration seems intent on provoking a strike or lockout that will hurt students and disrupt classes this fall.”
Both CUPE locals have begun to prepare for a strike, while informing the conciliation officer they are prepared to meet for mediation talks to try and avert a strike.
“The administration has been pursuing a policy of ‘work casualization’, pushing for more casual and part-time workers, with reduced hours of work,” said Bentley. “This is not good for students or the university community, as these employees provide frontline support for students and faculty. We urge students, parents and faculty to contact university administrators to demand they stop their attacks on our collective agreements, and take steps to reach settlements without a disruption that will hurt the university’s reputation.”
For further information, please contact:
Joel Bentley, CUPE National Representative: 519-966-9595 or 519-996-6893 (cell)
Aldo DiCarlo, CUPE 1393 President: 519-981-2605 (cell)
James Kehoe, CUPE 1001 Vice-President: 519-991-6893 (cell)
Robert Lamoureux, CUPE Communications: 416-292-3999