CUPE Local 1356 Blog

Canadian Union of Public Employees Local 1356. We have three Collective Agreements as Local 1356, 1356-01, and 1356-02. The membership is comprised of the full-time and part-time workers of York University the Local website is at 1356.cupe.ca This Blog will include Local information and information garnered from sources other Universities, Colleges, Post Secondary/Tertiary Education and news sources supplying information.

Friday, March 17, 2006

CUPE 3913 at University of Guelph in Stalled Negotiations

University walks away from negotiations with TA and Sessional Union

Talks in negotiations between CUPE 3913, the Union representing TAs and Sessionals and the University of Guelph stalled at 12:30 am March 15th, when the University walked away from the table.

Key issues for the union include class sizes; the process of assigning partial jobs; benefits, particularly for Sessional lecturers and International Teaching Assistants, and ensuring that increases in tuition fees don't erode Teaching Assistants' take-home pay.

The Union is particularly concerned about the issue of tuition fees, given the province's recent announcement that tuition fees for domestic undergraduates can be increased up to 5%, and 8% for graduates. International students' fees are deregulated, and are currently nearly double what a domestic student pays.

'We now know that tuition fees can rise dramatically, and that UHIP premiums have also increased to $684 for a single member. The university is still unwilling to address quality of education and how this is affected by workload. They've walked away from the table; we are left with no choice but to request the help of a mediator,' Xerri said.

Paying UHIP premiums for health care is mandatory for all international students. For a family, the cost is approximately $2,600 per year.

The Union has requested a No Board report. According to the Labour Relations Act, either party has the right during conciliation to request that a mediator be appointed for negotiations to continue.

'Despite the efforts of the conciliator, the parties seem to be still far apart,' said Toni Xerri, the union's chief negotiator. 'Obviously the university did not feel that any progress was being made since they refused to come back to the table after having walked out to caucus on the union's latest proposals.'

Mediation dates are set for March 30 and 31st. The Union is in a legal strike position at 12:01 am April 3rd. The University is in a legal lockout position at that time.

CUPE 3913 represents the over 1200 Sessional Lecturers and Teaching Assistants at the University of Guelph. They are the largest trade union in Guelph.

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