Volume 93, Issue 101

Friday, April 7, 2000


NEWS

Body discovered near J.W. Little

Info London finds new home

Graffiti mars campus

Council takes a stand on O-week

Striking profs reach tentative agreement at Moncton

The coolest way to kill insects

A lesson and a tale told

The heart rules the head

Things I know I should have said more often

A new beginning

A special "Caught on Campus"

Bass Ackwards

Striking profs reach tentative agreement at Moncton



By Tola Afolabi and Mike Murphy
Gazette Staff

The light at the end of the tunnel is finally shining brighter for students at the University of Moncton, following a breakthrough in a five week faculty strike.

A tentative agreement between the university's administration and the faculty's union membership, L'association Bibliothécaires, de Professeurs et Professeures de l'Universite de Moncton, was reached Wednesday, following a 36 hour marathon negotiation session, said Paul-Emile Benoit, director of communications at the university. "We have an agreement at this point," he said.

Benoit added the provincial government appointed a negotiation mediator, in hopes of ending the strike which began on March 2.

The strike adversely affected students, said René Boudreau, president of Moncton's student union. "We lost a lot of time," he said. "You want to support your profs, but soon become bitter. We went from supportive to being neutral."

He explained students protested six times, three of which involved marching to the hotel where the negotiations were taking place. "For a solid two weeks, it was protest after protest. There wasn't much hope throughout the whole thing," Boudreau said.

Even though 15 per cent of courses were taught by part-time faculty during the strike, students will have to make up for missed classes in September, he said.

He added he was relieved the strike seemed over and thought the agreement was a good compromise. "I think parity with other schools in our province is only right for our faculty," he said.

According to Boudreau, the union asked for a 20 per cent pay raise over three years while the administration had countered with a proposed three per cent increase. He said he thought the two sides had reached a compromise of a 14 per cent pay hike over four years.

James Turk, executive director of the Canadian Association of University Teachers, said no terms had actually been finalized. He added he could not comment on the details of the agreement until the University of Moncton's faculty association had ratified the deal.

"I can't confirm the terms of it because they're not public yet," he said, adding the faculty association was meeting late yesterday to vote on the deal.

Last Monday, the university's administration unsuccessfully called on the provincial government of New Brunswick to legislate the striking faculty members back to work, Turk explained.

"The two sides talked and seemed to have reached some sort of accord," he stated, but also stressed the approximately 230 striking faculty members must ratify the deal. "If it's voted down, then we're back to where we were before," Turk said.

The faculty association could not be reached for comment.


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