Volume 94, Issue 2

Friday, May 19, 2000


New student code of conduct drafted

UWOFA talks could mean deal

Private universities plan announced

New buildings put under microscope

Mental giants make presence felt at fair

Petition tries to rub out massage parlours

Prelude to an election

Council passes new arena proposal

Ravers get cold shower

UWOFA talks could mean deal

By Aaron Wherry
Gazette Staff

After three years of debate and negotiation, the Western faculty association and administration may finally be on the verge of their first contract settlement.

On Monday, administration and the University of Western Ontario Faculty Association entered a two day conciliation period. During this time a government conciliator met with both sides, individually and jointly, to discuss the issues blocking finalization of a contract agreement between the two groups.

Eddie Ebanks, president of UWOFA, emerging from the two day talks, said he felt positive about the progress made through conciliation. After two days of successful talks, the two sides agreed to meet again on May 23 with a conciliator, he said. This third day of conciliation, he stated, was added in the hopes of finalizing a tentative agreement.

"We've had two days, two very long days," he said. "It's too early to tell for sure, but I think things are going well. By the end of Tuesday I hope we'll reach an agreement."

Western's VP-administration, Peter Mercer, said the two sides had made considerable progress after two days of conciliation. "[The conciliation] has been very very useful," he said. "What a conciliator can often do is go over issues, meet with the individual groups and advise them on their actions."

Mercer, like Ebanks, said he was hopeful about this coming Tuesday's meeting and said a contract could be close. "We don't have much else left to do."

Bernd Frohmann, information and media studies professor, said he was hopeful the progress made through conciliation would lead to a settlement. "It looks like the two sides are getting closer and we could have an agreement."

Psychology professor Stephen Lupker said an agreement was very important, so other avenues, such as a faculty strike or administration lock-out could be avoided.

Lupker added many faculty members felt the need to finalize the agreement was becoming a top priority. "From one standpoint administration's offers are reasonable, but from another they're not competitive with other universities." Any contract would have to be on par with those signed by faculties at universities like Waterloo and Toronto, to ensure quality professors are attracted to and remain at Western, he said.

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