CUPE 2424 calls on Carleton University's Board of Governors to intervene in strike talks after rejecting spurious management offer

    OTTAWA, Sept. 16 /CNW Telbec/ - Local 2424 of the Canadian Union of
Public Employees (CUPE), and its members on strike at Carleton University,
voted overwhelmingly to reject the administration's latest settlement proposal
today, one that union negotiators described as spurious and designed to divide
the membership.
    "We urge the board of governors to intervene in negotiations," said
Wiz Long, CUPE 2424 spokesperson. "We proposed a settlement that we believe
falls within the mandate of the board of governors over the weekend, but
Carleton administration's negotiating team rejected it repeatedly, insisting
on punitive measures in a return-to-work protocol, and refusing to allow union
representation during disciplinary interviews, one of our key outstanding
    The employer's refusal to allow union representation during disciplinary
interviews means that any employee could be hauled into a disciplinary
interview with their manager, their department head and human resources,
without any union representative.
    Other contentious measures demanded by the administration's negotiating
committee include:

    - Automatic termination of any employee who fails to return to work and
      who is not on authorized leave. (This means if the strike ended Monday
      and the union were unable to reach a member who's away or ill, the
      employer could terminate them for not showing up for work the first day
      after the strike)

    - A clause which attempts to silence Union comment for the next
      three  years. (Unions have a legal obligation to represent the
      interests of members, and need to reserve the right to criticize the
      employer on other issues that may come up over the life of the
      collective agreement. This clause would mean the union risks being
      hauled into litigation every time they make a statement that is
      critical of Carleton)

    - Carleton administration will not guarantee that the terms of the old
      agreement will continue until they ratify a new collective agreement.
      (This means employees would return to work with no protection of a
      collective agreement until the employer ratifies a new contract weeks

    - The employer's signing bonus would be extended to scabs and strike
      violators who crossed their own picket line to work during the legal

    "We made considerable effort at the negotiating table to correct these
issues with the employer, but to no avail," said CUPE national representative
Susan Arab. "We remain ready and willing to bargain with Carleton University,
but we believe if a settlement is to be reached, the Carleton University Board
of governors must intervene."

    CUPE represents 700 professional, office, technical and support staff at
Carleton University, on strike since September 5th. A copy of CUPE's letter to
the Board of Governors is available at . CUPE's negotiating
team will remain at the negotiating site today.

For further information:

For further information: Or to arrange an interview: Wiz Long, CUPE 2424
spokesperson, (613) 252-2394 (cell); Susan Arab, CUPE national representative,
613) 237-0115, (613) 769-7553 (cell); Robert Lamoureux, CUPE Communications,
(416) 292-3999, (416) 727-9144 (cell)

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