Overwhelming strike mandate at Carleton University - CUPE calls on administration to settle in mediation

    OTTAWA, Aug. 23 /CNW Telbec/ - Professional, office, technical and
support staff at Carleton University, represented by the Canadian Union of
Public Employees (CUPE), voted 94 per cent yesterday in favour of a strike, if
a deal cannot be reached with the university's administration.
    "We had a very large turnout for the vote, and this strong strike mandate
should signal to the administration that our members are prepared to do what
it takes to get a fair contract," said CUPE national representative Susan
Arab. CUPE 2424 represents 700 workers at Carleton, who've been working
without a contract since June 30, 2007. They will be in a legal strike or
lockout position at 12:01 am, September 5.
    "Unfortunately, Carleton's administration has a habit of pushing things
to the wire, dragging their heels in negotiations, and refusing to make
serious attempts to settle contracts until the university is faced with the
risk of a strike or lockout," warned Arab. "Management is offering our members
less than half the raise they awarded to faculty earlier this year, while
demanding concessions - that's totally unacceptable and discriminatory. We
urge management negotiators to come to the table and make serious efforts to
reach a negotiated settlement before the strike deadline this time."
    Outstanding issues include wages, benefits, job postings and employment
security. A strike or lockout would suspend all office work at the university,
IT support, libraries and other technical and support functions. Mediation
talks have been scheduled for August 30, and September 3 and 4. CUPE offered
to meet August 31 and throughout the Labour Day long weekend, but Carleton
administration officials refused.
    "We invite students, parents and the university community to contact
Carleton's administration, to demand they reach a settlement quickly," said
Arab. "Bargaining down to the wire creates unnecessary added stress for
students and staff, at a time when getting ready for the new academic year
should be all they have to worry about."

For further information:

For further information: Susan Arab, CUPE National Representative, (613)
237-0115, (613) 769-7553 (cell); Robert Lamoureux, CUPE Communications, (416)

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