Volume 93, Issue 68

Tuesday, February 1, 2000


NEWS

UWO mourns students

Money talks at King's forum

Psych prof accused of racism

SCAPA proposes revamping of bachelor-level degrees

Toronto TAs to settle with admin

Prez candidates face off with media

Funding gets the checkered flag

New anti-panhandling legislation comes into effect

Theft remains a big problem for UPD

Briefs

Experience not going to get in Connell's way

Stuff

Toronto TAs to settle with admin



By Heather Buchan
Gazette Staff

Teaching Assistants at the University of Toronto could be back in class tomorrow after negotiators reached a tentative agreement Sunday – a result of 80 straight hours of negotiations.

Beginning last Thursday, negotiators for both U of T and the university's TAs met day and night, with the exception of one break, at the Labour Ministry's University Avenue office, said U of T's vice provost David Cook.

Although neither side would disclose the details of the deal, Cook did confirm if the agreement is ratified, the TAs may be back as soon as tomorrow. Voting on ratification will commence today.

A demand for a rebate on the TAs' tuition was the issue which originally sparked the three week strike. "The TAs are concerned with the effects of tuition increases on costs of living," Cook said.

The strike began Jan. 7 after the university would not discuss tuition relief with the TAs, said Sean Hermanson, a philosophy TA. During negotiations in December, the university offered a 4.75 per cent wage increase over the next two years and an improved dental plan. However, Hermanson said this offer was rejected, as the TAs had asked for higher wage increases.

U of T's academic program has been disrupted for three weeks and Cook said if an agreement had not been reached, the university would have had to restructure the academic program, cancelling effected labs and tutorials. Cook said everyone was relieved an end to the strike was in sight and that students would soon be able to resume classes.

Hermanson said he was guardedly hopeful about the outcome of the voting. "I am very happy to see negotiations appearing to be proceeding," he said, adding he expected the new contract to begin immediately and remain effective for two years.

Hermanson explained all TAs are relieved their concerns and demands have finally been recognized.

While striking, TAs have been picketing at U of T's downtown, Scarborough and Mississauga campuses, tutorials and labs have been suspended and a total of 50 courses have had to be withdrawn, Cook said. "Cancelled courses will have to remain cancelled."

Trish Langlois, a bargaining committee member, said the picketing has ceased and there will be a meeting of the membership this afternoon. "Our bargaining committee agreed to the deal because we believed it was the best deal possible and it kept the wishes and demands of the TAs in the forefront," she said.


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Copyright The Gazette 2000