FREDERICTON, NB, March 2, 2016 /CNW/ - Members of the Union of Graduate Student Workers (UGSW), Local 60550, at the University of New Brunswick (Fredericton and Saint John) met on February 29 and March 1st to review and vote on the employer's final offer. This vote has resulted in 72% rejection of that Final Offer!
The PSAC has advised the University of the rejection by their employees and has invited the University's Negotiating Team back to the table to negotiate a tentative agreement which the PSAC negotiating team can then recommend to its members. The PSAC has also requested that a provincial mediator be appointed by the Minister of Labour to help resolve this dispute as soon as possible.
PSAC's negotiator, Larry Gagnon, comments on the outcome: "The bargaining team members have been working hard since December 2013 to reach a fair collective agreement that includes important language to protect these workers in relation to sexual and personal harassment, discrimination, abuse of authority, whistleblowing and violence in the workplace. It was very clearly expressed by the members at those meetings that these issues are very important to them and that the monetary proposal from the UNB was an insult and one which they simply could not accept.
Sadly, UNB's administration isn't willing to make any further improvements in their monetary offer and our members made it quite clear with this vote that they expect better treatment from a university that is consistently highly ranked in Maclean's annual university rankings."
Gagnon added: "We are now seeking the assistance of a provincial mediator to assist both parties in resolving this dispute. Our goal has always been to reach a fair collective agreement which recognizes the contribution which these workers make to the University's operation and now that the members have clearly spoken they expect the University to accept that message and work with the PSAC negotiating team to reach a tentative agreement which will be acceptable to both sides."
This group represents approximately 400 workers employed as graduate student teaching assistants and, or, graduate student research assistants at the University of New Brunswick in both Fredericton and Saint John.
SOURCE Public Service Alliance of Canada
For further information: Larry Gagnon, Regional Negotiator, PSAC, (cell) 902.222.4419