Trent University workers fight for wage parity

    PETERBOROUGH, June 5 /CNW Telbec/ - Trent University workers, represented
by the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE), have requested the
assistance of a provincial conciliation officer after making little progress
in negotiations with their employer. Union negotiators are trying to avoid a
potential strike over wage parity.
    "Instructors at Trent are paid significantly less than their counterparts
in other comparable universities," said David Berger, president of CUPE 3908.
"Management depends on our members to deliver an academic experience that
includes small classes and high student-faculty interaction, but they must
address this wage parity issue so we can continue to build Trent's reputation
as a leading liberal arts university."
    The 300 contract faculty staff help students get the best quality
education at Trent. Their contract expires on August 31, 2007. If conciliation
talks over the summer months fail to produce a fair agreement, the stage will
be set for a lockout or strike as students return in September.
    Instructors at other leading universities, including the University of
Ottawa and York University, earn about 20 per cent more than Trent's
instructors doing similar work, making Trent's contract faculty some of the
lowest paid in Ontario. "Management must do the right thing and address this
disparity that affects university workers and students," said Berger. "We will
do our best to reach a deal without taking labour action, but management must
do their part and take the necessary steps to achieve a fair settlement."

For further information:

For further information: David Berger, CUPE 3908 President, (705)
748-1011 ext. 6070; Derek Blackadder, CUPE National Representative, (705)
930-3724 cell; James Chai, CUPE Communications, (416) 292-3999

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