Volume 94, Issue 34

Tuesday, October 31, 2000


It was a complete ambush: Rubinoff

New code raises old concerns

Triplets still missing

UWO union workers poised to strike

The Crime Scene

Campus Briefs

US college crime stats now on Web

Elections signs vandalized

Corroded Disorder

UWO union workers poised to strike

By Wes Brown
Gazette Staff

Contract disputes between the university and the Canadian Union of Public Employees local 2361, the union that represents Western's caretakers and skilled labourers, is approaching the point of no return as the filing of a 'no board' occurred yesterday.

Union leader for CUPE local 2361, Rick Graham, said the two sides could not reach an agreement up until this point.

Graham said within 14 days of the filing of a 'no board' notice, the union is legally allowed to strike and administration is legally allowed a lockout position. He said there could be mediation talks between both parties before something like that happens.

"This will have to be taken to the members [of the union] and together we will decide what to do," he said, of the group's next step. "Obviously we want a contract. We sent in a more tentative agreement and it was turned down."

"My members believe what is being offered in pay [by the university] is not enough," Graham said, adding the inability to meet the financial demands of the union as the reasoning for not signing a deal with administration.

Western's director of communications and public affairs, David Estok, said administration had not yet received the no board documentation but was expecting it.

"After the 14 days of receiving the no board, we would be in position for a lockout and they would be in a position to strike – however it doesn't mean either of the two will happen," he said.

Administration has been in negotiations with local 2361 since July of 2000, Estok said, of the existing collection agreement. He added 180 care taking and skilled trade university workers would be effected in the dispute.

"We're hopeful that things can be worked out and we're always interested in discussions with the other side," he said.

Western's director of physical plant, Dave Riddell, said he does not want the university workers to strike and added he hoped an agreement could be worked out between the two sides without a strike or lockout. "A lockout is an option, but it's not an option the university wants to pursue," he said.

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Copyright The Gazette 2000