Volume 94, Issue 44

Thursday, November 16, 2000


Liberal TV ad lied, Alliance charges

Strike looming - Caretakers could walk out

York U behind picket lines again

"Massive" probe begins

Campus Briefs

Quirks and Smirks

New City Council prioritizes

USC remembers federal election run

Corroded Disorder

Strike looming - Caretakers could walk out

By Aaron Wherry
Gazette Staff

Western's caretakers and skilled workers may be walking off the job as early as this weekend, unless they accept the university's latest contract offer.

Canadian Union of Public Employees local 2361 union leader, Rick Graham, explained the union's 260 caretakers, grounds keepers and other skilled workers will be in a legal position to strike as of 12:01 a.m. Saturday.

Graham said the union has been presented with an offer from Western administration and union members will have a chance to vote on whether to accept the agreement tomorrow.

If the union rejects the contract offer, union leaders will be able to take strike action as they have already been given a strike mandate from union members, Graham explained. "There's an offer on the table they can accept or they can decide to strike," he said.

Graham added the points of contention in these negotiations are common to many conflicts between unions and management. "[The issues being debated] are benefits and wages," he said.

Western's director of communications and public affairs, David Estok said the university is remaining optimistic and hopes a resolution can be found. "The university is hopeful we'll have an agreement," he said. Administration and the union have been in negotiations since July of this year.

He explained administration was waiting for the upcoming vote to determine what they would do in the event of a strike. "We have to wait and see. We have to be responsible to the university, but we're waiting to see if they accept [the offer]."

On Oct. 30, the union filed a "no board" report with the university. Fourteen days after the university received the report, the union becomes legally allowed to strike and the administration is then able to lockout the union members. The university received the "no board" report last week, Estok said.

University Students' Council president, Dave Braun, said he was hopeful an agreement could be found. "I hope all parties will come to a mutually acceptable resolution."

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