SK Universities Attack Workers’ Rights

The academic communities at Saskatchewan’s two universities have started a petition to their Boards of Governors demanding that the Governors instruct their negotiating committee to return, “in good faith,” to the table with their support workers. The CUPE 1975 workers set up picket lines on both the Regina and Saskatoon campuses after mediator Doug Forseth said the sides were too far apart. CUPE says,

CUPE 1975 members prepare for job action – Conciliation
talks fail to produce contract settlement

October 30, 2007 05:44 PMSASKATOON/ REGINA: Conciliation talks involving CUPE 1975 members at the University of Regina and University of Saskatchewan broke-off last night after the employer rejected the union’s proposed offer of settlement.* The union served the employer with the required 48-hour strike notice this afternoon.

“We’re very disappointed conciliation talks failed to resolve this contract dispute,” says Brad McKaig, chair of the union’s negotiating committee. “Our union negotiating committee made significant movement on virtually every issue on the table, including monetary items, in an effort to conclude a collective agreement, but at the end of the day talks broke down over the major issues of benefits, performance reviews and wages.”

The U of S says,

CUPE Rejects University of Saskatchewan’s Final Offer

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – October 26, 2007

Conciliation talks ended last night as CUPE 1975 rejected the University of Saskatchewan’s (U of S) final offer. Government’s conciliator, Doug Forseth adjourned the process in view of the Union’s lack of movement on the remaining issues.

The University offered a 17% wage increase over three years, which included wage, pension and benefit increases.

To which the CUPE workers have responded, one worker asking, “Was your calculator plugged in?”

The broader academic community has begun a petition drive demanding the Board of Governors insist its negotiating committee go back to the table “in good faith.”

The rampant right wing administration stomps on its lowest-paid workers, the ones who clean up the shit, and takes a 10% pay hike for itself.

It’s a sign of the times, isn’t it?


Present to U of R: President Resigns

The President and Vice-Chancellor of the University of Regina today delivered a fine gift to students and staff. Dr. Robert E. Hawkins resigned! Faculty and students at the U of R had been mumbling for several months about the severe right turn the Administration had taken since Hawkins arrival. The rumour mill was ripe with talk of no research money, no way meaning that unless a program was revenue-generating, then it was on the chopping block. That might be good news for Admin and Engineering, but in a liberal arts institution, well, it’s ludicrous!

Release: December 21, 2006
Contact: Stephen King, External Relations
: (306) 585.5632
Mobile: (306) 536.4312
: (306) 585.4997

Leadership change at the University of Regina
Dr. Robert E. Hawkins today announced that he has resigned from the position of president and vice-chancellor of the University of Regina effective immediately.

Hawkins said, “In view of differences of opinion on management philosophy and other issues, I have decided to resign as president of the University. I remain a professor at the University and look forward to serving the University and its students in that capacity in the future.”

“The Board of Governors appreciates the keen interest that Dr. Hawkins has shown in his emphasis on providing a quality student experience and his drive to develop programs that will appeal to the students we need to recruit,” said chair of the University’s Board of Governors, Mo Bundon. “We need to be onside with each other, and we have agreed that a change is an appropriate move.”

Appropriate, indeed. Teaching staff at the U of R are among the lowest paid in the country. And Hawkins’ plans didn’t seem to do much about it. Now, with his hasty departure back to teaching, I suspect that more than a few faculty, staff, and students at the U of R will share celebratory drinks this holiday season.