Queen's Staff Ready for Bargaining

KINGSTON, ON, Nov. 14, 2011 /CNW/ - Tuesday, November 15th marks the start of collective bargaining toward a first collective agreement for close to 1,150 support staff at Queen's University who are new members of the United Steelworkers (USW).

One of the largest sets of labour negotiations taking place in Ontario, it follows new collective agreements with Queen's ratified this past summer by faculty (represented by QUFA) and by other employee groups (represented by CUPE).

The Queen's staff carry out a wide array of key jobs at Queen's in support of the key administrative operations of the university and the delivery of its academic mission.

"Queen's staff are a vital part of the University's successes and we have real issues to address in negotiations", said Deb Stirton-Massey, a Queen's employee in the History  Department and a member of the elected bargaining committee, "Better and fair pay, retirement security, and real consistency in workplace policies are what staff are looking for. "

"Bargaining means that staff have a voice and we are ready to use it to help Queen's move ahead as a better place to work," said Carol Kavanaugh, a Queen's employee in the Faculty of Arts & Science office and also a member of the bargaining committee.

"We will work hard toward a good agreement with Queen's," said Peggy McComb, the USW's Kingston region bargaining representative, "We've been patient in waiting for Queen's to get to the table. Queen's staff have been patient too. They have fallen behind at Queen's for over a decade.  Queen's Stafft will be up to Queen's to set the tone for these negotiations. For our part, we'll work hard toward real solutions."

The staff joined the USW after a campaign culminating in a vote count in December 2010.  They formed USW Local 2010, named for the year of their victory.  In mid-March the staff elected a bargaining committee of seven (7) colleagues and followed that by taking part in a comprehensive on-line survey of their bargaining priorities. The employee committee and USW bargaining experts have spent the last few months pulling together proposals for bargaining.

SOURCE United Steelworkers (USW)

For further information:

Peggy McComb, USW Local 2010, 613-532-3232 / 613-546-1177


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