Volume 95, Issue 84

Wednesday, March 13, 2002
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London declares all-out war on smokers

Brand new crusty old dean?

Police chase Beaver balcony jumper

Dalhousie strike gets nastier by the day

OPSEU strike may affect OSAP

Vote and drop out at 18

News Briefs

Dalhousie strike gets nastier by the day

By Jessica Leeder
Gazette Staff

Although talks between striking faculty and university administration at Dalhousie University began again, tension between the groups is still boiling.

Last Thursday, in the online edition of the Halifax Daily News, Dalhousie Faculty Association president Andrew Wainwright accused the university of pressuring the DFA back to the bargaining table by using the local media.

"To date, they have taken out six ads in the Daily News and the Chronicle Herald. Some of them are half-page ads, some of them take up one third of the page," Wainwright told The Gazette. He estimates the total cost of the advertisements to be $14,000.

Stacey Lewis, a spokeswoman for Dalhousie, could not confirm the exact number of paid advertisements, nor could she comment on their cost.

"Advertising is the most cost-effective way to communicate with the large and diverse group of people seeking information from the university about issues associated with the strike," she said.

"We needed to reassure people who were concerned and we also required a means through which to answer the flood of questions we have been getting," Lewis said, noting the ads were not intended to pressure the DFA back to the bargaining table.

Halifax's mayor Peter Kelly said the ads may have helped to calm the growing concerns of Halifax citizens.

"People are becoming concerned with the time period of the strike because of the potential outcomes," he said.

Wainwright said he also took issue with the variety of figures that have appeared in local media reports as points of negotiation.

Lewis has maintained the university is offering a 16.7 per cent salary increase to the DFA over the next three years. She said the 16.7 per cent translates to an additional $8.4 million in wages.

In contrast, Wainwright said the DFA is seeking a 10.8 per cent hike over three years, but added the university has only offered them 7.8 per cent over three years.

"They know what they're doing with these numbers and they're a lie," Wainwright said.

Lewis said the discrepancy results from the DFA only recognizing a segment of the financial cost of the offer the university put on the table.

"The union offer on the table would cost 27 per cent more than the $52 million the university currently is offering," she said, adding the university's offer also considers "other items that have a financial cost."

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Copyright The Gazette 2002