Settlement reached between University & public employees union

Agreement will keep Queen's custodians, maintenance workers and research technicians at work

A tentative agreement between Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) and Queen’s administration was reached at noon on Saturday, avoiding a possible strike or lockout.

CUPE officials and University administrators had until Monday at midnight to reach a settlement and avoid a strike or lockout position. CUPE represents maintenance workers, custodians, and library and research technicians at Queen’s.

CUPE was in negotiations with the University since January. A No Board report was issued on July 12, calling an end to conciliation and marking the start of mediation. A legal strike or lockout could have occurred as of 12:01 a.m. on July 29, but at late-night talks, CUPE and the University agreed to extend mediation until Aug. 8.

“We will not go out on strike, we’re obviously not being locked out,” said Donna Carlaw, national representative for the three CUPE locals in negotiations with the University.

“We were consistent with working toward a tentative agreement all along,” Carlaw said. “We reached a fair settlement.”

Carlaw said she couldn't comment on the specific details of the tentative settlement.

“I can’t say too much,” Carlaw said. “We have not taken it to ratification.”

Before the tentative agreement is enacted, it will need to be ratified by the three CUPE locals and the Queen’s Board of Trustees.

If the agreement isn't ratified, the two parties will return to the bargaining table.

“I don’t think it will not be ratified,” Carlaw said about the CUPE vote on the agreement. “We feel we’ve reached an equitable agreement for the members. We hope our membership will agree.”

For an updated story, see queensjournal.ca tomorrow.

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