Volume 93, Issue 51

Tuesday, November 30, 1999


NEWS

Board of Governors ratifies TA contract

Mercer gets second shot at admin

For-profit growth in CCBC plan

Province gets permit to party even harder

A little nookie goes a long way

Crime on campus discovers the wheel

Briefs

Bass Ackwards

Board of Governors ratifies TA contract



By John Intini
Gazette Staff

The Board of Governors ratified a contract Thursday which made being a Teaching Assistant at Western a little more financially rewarding.

Bill Peel, chair of BOG, said the contract passed with a large majority in favour after little discussion. Peel added passing the contract at BOG finalizes the agreement.

Alan Weedon, dean of graduate studies and one of the administration's main negotiators, said salary was the main issue which divided administration and the Public Service Alliance of Canada Local 00610, which represents approximately 1,000 TAs at Western.

"Quite a few revisions were made to the contract during the June/July period, but the outstanding issue certainly was compensation rates," Weedon said.

The finalized deal is a three year agreement, retroactive to Sept. 1, 1999. Under the new contract, the TA's pay will increase from the current annual salary of $8,292 to $8,632 and will then increase to $8,840 and $9,048 in 2000 and 2001 respectively.

Joel Adams, undergraduate student representative at BOG, said the agreement passed at the meeting fairly quickly.

"There was certainly no debate," he said. "Both sides knew how important it was to have an agreement. The TAs had their issues and the university had their position and they were able to come to a consensus."

Art Curtis, PSAC's main negotiator in the deal, said the TAs have been without an agreement since the last one concluded on Aug. 31. He said although he was pleased a collective agreement was now in place which would be effective until Sept. 2002, the issue of graduate student tuition was ignored by the negotiators.

"We were disappointed they did not address in any way our concern over the issue of tuition," he said. "It was put on the table, but the employer refused to deal with it."

Curtis added the extra money partly makes up for the lack of recognition given to tuition, claiming the TAs gained a little ground with the deal and were a step closer to reducing the percentage of income going towards tuition.

The TAs ratified the agreement on Nov. 17, Curtis added.

Weedon said both sides were forced to compromise to come to an agreement, but the final contract was one both should be happy with.

"It's a negotiation, so neither side gets what they were looking for in their first offer, but I think both sides came away with a reasonable compromise," Weedon said.

Mark Nicholls, a chemistry TA, said he was pleased to see the university give a little to provide for the TAs. He said discrepancies between tuition hikes and pay raises over the last few years makes the announcement of a new agreement all the more exciting.

"Over the past few years tuition has increased and our pay has stayed the same," he said. "Any increase to off-set the difference is good."


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Copyright The Gazette 1999