Volume 95, Issue 30

Thursday, October 25, 2001
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Tories shut out student media

The world at war

Protest group miffed

Muslims outraged by poster vandalism

Sex for money: all in the name of science

Picket 101: 'Toba profs on strike

Ivey program ranks 15th

News Briefs

Picket 101: 'Toba profs on strike

By Joel Brown
Gazette Staff

Many classes at Winnipeg's University of Manitoba have been canceled this week, as the second strike in as many months enters its third day.

Professors took to the picket lines Monday, after a collective bargaining agreement could not be reached with the school despite mediation.

Most classes in the arts faculty have been cancelled while the school's management and science faculties have been able to salvage most of its classes. Sessional lecturers and teaching assistants belong to a different union and are covering many classes.

The U of M Students' Union launched an online petition asking professors and administration to "put students first."

"Sure it's nice to get a break, but I'm a little ticked off since I have paid to go to school," said U of M's Arts student body president Lara Thorpe, who has had four of her five classes cancelled.

Negotiations are continuing, but both sides said they do not foresee an end to the strike.

"We've made enough concessions," said Robert Chernomas, spokesman for the 1,100 member U of M's Faculty Association.

Both sides concluded the second of two mediation sessions Sunday, but administration refused to accept the mediator's decision, he added.

"We'd stop the strike immediately if they accepted the mediator's report," Chernomas said. "Their salary position has not changed over seven months."

"Some of the salary increases were financially 'unsustainable,'" said U of M spokesman John Danakas, adding the university is offering a two per cent salary increase and 10 weeks of paid parental leave.

Faculty are asking for 18 weeks of leave and a salary increase they say would put them on par with professors at other schools in Western Canada, Chernomas said.

This is the second strike at the university this fall. Last month, maintenance employees walked off the job, but they have since returned to work.

"It seems [administration is] able to do a good job managing strikes, but not getting settlements,"Chernomas said.

Danakas contends the university has already made ample movement on multiple fronts and noted they have been open to negotiation with faculty for nearly a year.

University administration understand some students may be upset by the strike.

If the strike is lengthy, the school's vacation period may be shortened once class resumes, Danakas said.

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Copyright The Gazette 2001