Editorial: Collective agreement needs long-term solutions

Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) Local 4600, the union that represents contract instructors and teaching assistants at Carleton Univeresity, went on strike early March 6 before quickly reaching a truce with administration on a new collective agreement.

The union and administration have been negotiating for weeks over the amount employees are paid, the ratio of students to instructors in classes, and job security. The last time the collective agreement came up for negotiation in 2014, the talks continued into the early a.m. of the day the union could legally strike.

Hopefully the new collective agreement will be a long-term solution, and the same problems will not come up when the agreement is next up for negotiation. The union made note of these issues at the very beginning of the negotiation process in June 2016. This shows the problems the union brought up are serious ones that deserve the university’s attention.

Without real improvements, students will again have to worry about the prospect of a strike in three years, and the university will be engaged with another round of tense negotiations with the staff that teach 30 per cent of classes.

It does not serve anyone if the union is presented with another round of short-term solutions and Band-Aid fixes. If these issues persist, a full-on strike is entirely possible in the next few years.