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Ottawa, Ont. – The Union representing Carleton University skilled trades and maintenance employees has called in the services of a Labour conciliator to assist the parties in negotiating a collective agreement.  Local 910 of the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) filed for conciliation after several months of bargaining with Carleton University failed to achieve a collective agreement.

CUPE Local 910 members have also given their negotiation committee a 95% strike mandate should talks break down at conciliation.

The Union is requesting a package of wage and benefit increases roughly equivalent to that achieved by CUPE Local 2424. CUPE Local 2424 representing office and professional workers at Carleton University went on strike for two weeks in September 2007 to achieve a contract.  The Union is also requesting an adjustment for its skilled trades classifications which have fallen behind the going hourly rates paid to skilled trades workers in other comparable institutions.

The Union also is fighting concessions tabled by Carleton University in the areas of personal leave and temporary workers.

Conciliation will begin on April 16th and a failure on the part of Carleton to table an acceptable offer could lead to a strike. “Our members would rather reach a deal at the negotiating table. But if the University doesn’t change its current position, we may have to take job action,” said Bob Helem, Local 910 president.

The union is calling on other members of the University community to tell the Carleton Board of Governors that they need to make a better offer. It is a question of basic fairness.

For further information, please contact:

Susan Arab                           Bob Helem                           Benoit Renaud
CUPE National Rep.              CUPE 910 President            CUPE Communications 
613-237-0115 (w)                613-692-3916                      613-818-0077
613-769-7553 (c)