PETERBOROUGH, Ont. – Continuity in the academic year was assured early this morning when the bargaining team for Local 3908-02 of the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) reached a deal with Trent University on behalf of 350 student-workers.

The union will recommend that its members ratify the agreement in a vote to be held later in March.

Teaching assistants, lab assistants, academic assistants and student markers were prepared to take job action at one minute after midnight this morning, 27 February, over a proposed wage freeze for the lowest-paid university employees.

“Student workers were under enormous pressure to accept wage freezes as a way for Trent to achieve cost savings,” said Stephen Horner, President of CUPE 3908. “We believe that the modest gains of the agreement reflect the determination of members to protect decent working conditions.”

Throughout negotiations, CUPE representatives identified provincial underfunding as the root cause of the difficult negotiations, yet held that Trent’s lowest-paid workers shouldn’t be made to pay the price for a lack of funding.

Ontario funds post-secondary education at a rate that is 34 per cent lower than other provinces.

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For more information, contact:

Christine Lang, CUPE National Representative: 705-772-5578 (cell)

Mary Unan, CUPE Communications: 905-739-3999 ext. 240 or 647-390-9839 (cell)