Volume 95, Issue 78

Wednesday, February 20, 2002
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Western vows to keep promise

USC presidential races gets a little nasty

Drink bucks leave kids hungry

"You're a poopy head" -- "No, you're a poopy head"

Gay community loses its HALO

Disabled students get government cash

News Briefs

"You're a poopy head" -- "No, you're a poopy head"

By Joel Brown
Gazette Staff

Even before talks for a new collective bargaining agreement have begun, sparks are already flying between Western's administration and faculty association.

Both sides are now "negotiating to negotiate," with the University of Western Ontario Faculty Association saying they need administration to supply them with more information before the association will be willing to come to the bargaining table.

The university, however, believes it has provided the data necessary to begin.

The current two-year agreement is set to expire in June. Both sides are concerned that if talks do not begin soon, chances of an agreement being in place by then will slim.

UWOFA president Dan Jorgensen said the school has been slow at providing information, such as salary and market adjustment data, that he believes is vital to establishing the association's position.

"Instead, administration responses have varied from outright refusal to offers to provide it once we're at the bargaining table." Jorgensen said. "We welcome this as a sign that negotiations might begin on a reasonable footing. When set against the administration's track record to date, however, the promise of such information at the first negotiating meeting asks us to trust in faith rather than experience."

The university's chief negotiator and director of faculty relations, Alex Mercer, said UWOFA is to blame for talks having not begun.

"We have given them all the information with which they need to begin bargaining," Mercer said. "If they require more, we'll give it to them as soon as they meet with administration to begin the bargaining process.

University Students' Council president Mike Lawless said that while he has not been directly informed of the negotiations by administration or UWOFA, he anticipates hearing from them if the state of talks will potentially lead to a work stoppage.

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Copyright The Gazette 2002