Carleton Administration stiffs its teaching assistants in bid to force strike

    Carleton's refusal to pay a "tuition rebate" violates collective
    agreement, shows bad faith

    OTTAWA, Jan. 7 /CNW Telbec/ - Teaching assistants at "Canada's Capital
University" got a rude surprise over the holidays: they were not paid their
"tuition increase protection" rebate, a major part of their compensation that
also happens to be the key issue in current contract negotiations with
Carleton University, says their union, the Canadian Union of Public Employees
    "The tuition rebate ensures that the wages TAs earn are not eaten up by
tuition that increases every year," says Heather Finn, President of CUPE 4600,
the union representing 1500 teaching assistants (TAs) at Carleton University.
    "Carleton's actions clearly show where their interests lie," Finn says.
"Saving money by withholding hard-working teaching assistants' pay is a new
low for this administration."
    TAs receive their tuition rebates at the end of every semester. The
amount varies depending on the student and on the program, ranging from
$75-$430. Carleton did not issue the December payment, has made no explanation
and gave no advance notice of its non-payment. The union is seeking
clarification, but remains appalled by both the bad faith exhibited by
Carleton administration and the blatant violation of the current collective
agreement just days before the two sides meet in conciliation.
    "Are they trying to force a strike?" asks Finn. "They couldn't have
chosen a better tactic to show bad faith during bargaining and total disregard
for Carleton's students and workers."
    CUPE 4600 and Carleton are scheduled to go back into conciliation talks
on January 20, 2009. The union is holding a strike vote next week, from
January 13 to 15.

For further information:

For further information: Heather Finn, President, CUPE 4600, cell: (613)
884-6311; John Gillies, CUPE Staff Representative, cell: (613) 761-2569; David
Robbins, CUPE Communications, cell: (613) 878-1431

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