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UPEI reaches tentative agreement with support staff

Don and Marion McDougall Hall, home of UPEI’s School of Business.
Don and Marion McDougall Hall, home of UPEI’s School of Business.

CHARLOTTETOWN, P.E.I. — The University of Prince Edward Island and the union representing its support staff have reached a tentative collective bargaining agreement.

The Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) Local 1870 represents about 280 support staff at UPEI, including technical staff, programmer analyst and administrative support service classifications. The positions cover virtually every area of campus, including Robertson Library and the Atlantic Veterinary College.

Conciliation began Monday. The workers have 14 days to take a strike vote after the conciliator files his report.

“The union and UPEI broke off conciliation talks early (Tuesday) morning after the parties reached an impasse on health benefits but the employer reached out to the union later in the morning asking if we could take another run at trying to get a deal,” said Bill McKinnon, national representative for CUPE.

“… We were able to bridge the divide between us and a tentative ‘Memorandum of Settlement’ was drafted and signed for the two sides to take back for ratification to their respective groups.”

The union has scheduled a ratification meeting with its members for Monday, Jan. 23. The board of governors at UPEI will meet on a date after that, said McKinnon.

No details of the settlement will be made public the union members vote on the agreement.

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