OTTAWA — Campus Safety workers at Ottawa's Carleton University have a strike deadline of 12:01 Monday morning, March 10, 2014.
With three days of bargaining scheduled for March 7, 8 and 9, the workers remain hopeful that they will receive an offer of a fair contract before the deadline is reached.
Carleton is a prosperous University that has experienced exceptional growth, from 20,000 students and staff to 30,000 since 2007. The number of Campus Safety workers has not grown to match the increased need.
"Carleton University says they value the importance of student safety on campus. Now it's time to for them walk the talk and invest in their frontline staff," said OPSEU President, Warren (Smokey) Thomas.
Campus Safety workers at Carleton University receive lower wages and benefits than their counterparts at other major universities such as Guelph, University of Toronto and Western.
"All we are asking for is what is fair. These workers deliver around-the-clock safety services to students on campus, and deserve at least some basic respect from their employer. Many of them are earning barely more than minimum wage," said OPSEU Negotiator, Nelson Ross Laguna, who has been working to help reach a contract with Carleton University since October 2013.
"If these workers are forced to go on strike we don't see how campus safety can be maintained in their absence," said Ross Laguna.
OPSEU Local 404 shares the March 10 strike deadline with CUPE 4600, and the two unions are supporting each other in solidarity throughout their respective negotiations with Carleton University. CUPE 4600 represents Carleton teaching assistants and contract instructors.
There are 50 Carleton University Safety Workers including special constables, dispatchers, campus safety officers and student safety patrollers.
Nelson Ross Laguna
Bargaining Team Chair and
OPSEU Local 404 Vice-President: