Six week Windsor strike comes to an amicable end
By Sandra Dimitrakopoulos
"All's well that ends well."
Jim Butler, director of human resources at the University of Windsor, best summed up the conclusion of a six week long strike at the university between the labour union and administration.
On March 31 a contract was agreed upon which dealt with aggressively combatting a loss of close to a quarter of a million dollars in food services, Butler said.
One of the main issues involved a part-time wage problem which was resolved with the use of a grid system. New employees will start off at $8.50 and within seven years can work their way up to full-time pay of $13.50.
Full-time housekeeping, grounds and maintenance staff will receive wage increases of 3.5 per cent extending up to July 28 and spread across this time, said Jimmy Hart, president of the Canadian Union of Public Employees local 1001.
The agreement supported by 95 per cent of the voters also involved wage increases for full-time kitchen staff of $0.08 an hour right now and $0.11 an hour at the end of their contract, including a bonus of $500, Hart said.
In addition, a turnover is required of 35 employees who will be offered a buy out as an incentive to quit. "We are started on the path to saving money but still require a turnover in staff," Butler said. If the requirements for this are not met the union has agreed to cut wages.
A layoff provision on a short-term basis was also included in the agreement. "This ensures that we do not have to shut down in the summer," Butler said.
The union did look into getting the definition of disability changed but this was not agreed upon due to the fact the university would have had to become self-insured as a result, Butler said.
"Future plans might involve a restructuring of the present programs to make final budget," Butler explained. "But there will be no price increases to students as a result of the settlement."