Volume 94, Issue 77

Thursday, February 8, 2001


Candidates talk diversity - Prez hopefuls discuss culture at Essex

Three candidates fined for infractions

Ebola scare turns out to be a false alarm

Careleton University to avert TA strike

Braun wants USC continuity

Commercials aim for the funny bone


Planet Me

Careleton University to avert TA strike

By Lindsay Mattick
Gazette Staff

Students at Carleton University may not have to suffer the same fate as their strike-plagued peers at York University, as teaching assistants at the Ottawa-based school are expected to ratify a contract agreement with the university.

According to Janet Weichel-McKenzie, media relations officer at the university, a tentative settlement was reached last Wednesday by the members of Canadian Union of Public Employees 4600, unit 1 and the University.

The settlement must be approved by the members of CUPE, in a ratification vote yesterday and Tuesday, and approved by the University's Board of Governors before it becomes official, Weichel-McKenzie said. The parties had been in negotiation since last November, but did not reach this agreement until 15 minutes before the 7 a.m., Jan. 31 deadline.

CUPE 4600 represents approximately 1,200 teaching and research assistants, student consultants and service centre assistants. A statement released by CUPE Wednesday said the tentative settlement includes resolutions on three key areas.

"All three key areas that the members wanted [to address] when they voted to strike: a tuition increase assistance plan has been established, a fund exists to help with the costs of UHIP for international students and a report on the effects of the double cohort, will be completed by May 2002," the statement said.

Aalya Ahmad, president of CUPE 4600, said he commended the membership for their efforts. "Without the mobilization by hundreds of our members, none of these breakthroughs would have been possible," he said.

Christa Peters, VP-internal affairs for the Carleton University Students' Association, said she was very pleased the strike was avoided, but added the students' association was fully supportive of the TAs.

"We were willing to shut down our services to ensure that if the strike went on, it would not be business as usual at the university," she said.

Peters added the students' association executives were fully prepared to walk the picket lines and were on the line at 7 a.m. until they received a phone call that the strike was off.

"This is a great settlement," Peters said. "The union got almost everything they wanted." When questioned what impact York's 11 week strike had on the negotiations, Peters said the York strike played a key role, influencing the negotiations and generating massive support from the Carleton community.

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