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Concordia Dodges Strike

by Archives September 23, 2008

After months of negotiations, Concordia’s part-time teachers have reached an agreement with the university. The deal, reached Wednesday night, puts to rest fears of a strike by part-time faculty that would have virtually shut down the university.
“We have resolved an agreement in principle,” said Maria Peluso, president of the part-time faculty association (CUPFA). “It’s a very good effort on the part of both parties, to arrive at an understanding.”
However the agreement’s details are not yet clear.
“We’re not really commenting,” said Chris Mota, director of media relations for Concordia. “It’s fair to say that everybody is pleased that we’re at this stage.”
While Peluso also said she couldn’t comment on the specifics, she said she was happy with the deal. However, in a previous interview she told The Concordian that the union was ready to give up on a demand for pay equity with part-time teachers at UQAM and Université de Montreal.
The agreement marks the end of a six-year process that played out both at the negotiating table, and in the courts.
In recent weeks the part-time teachers, who conducted a rotating strike last spring, seemed poised to go on a full strike. “We were prepared to go to war if necessary, but that has never really been our approach, so I’m pleased that we’ve had sufficient understanding and dialogue that has gotten us to a final agreement.”
However it could take months before a new contract is formally signed. “We have a long way to go,.From this agreement in principal, we then have to put text to the collective agreement itself . . . then the membership has to ratify it, then the board has to ratify it. We still have the next nine months to work for it,” said Peluso. “So members are not going to get paid and things are not going to change until that whole process is completed, but at least we have a deal.”

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