Dalhousie, CUPE reach tentative deal in strike

CUPE argued that teaching assistants at Western University earned twice as much as the Dalhousie employees. (Paul Palmeter/CBC - image credit)
CUPE argued that teaching assistants at Western University earned twice as much as the Dalhousie employees. (Paul Palmeter/CBC - image credit)

Dalhousie University in Halifax has reached a tentative agreement with striking CUPE members three weeks after they walked off the job in a wage dispute.

The school confirmed the deal through an email Tuesday afternoon. CUPE Local 3912 posted an update on social media.

Neither gave details of the tentative agreement that were to be revealed to union members Tuesday night. The union says no date has been set for a ratification vote.

"It is expected that a ratification vote will be held as quickly as possible," Chris Hattie, the acting assistant vice–president of human resources, said in an email.

"If successful, CUPE employees will return to work in the coming days. We will provide more information as these details are confirmed."

Pay a key issue

There are about 1,500 CUPE members at Dalhousie. Teaching assistants, instructors, markers and demonstrators have been walking the picket line since Oct. 19, causing the cancellation of some classes and programs.

The workers walked off the job after two years of failed negotiations.

Dalhousie teaching assistants are paid $24 per hour. The union says teaching assistants at Western University are paid double that amount.

The last offer from Dalhousie included a 20 per cent raise over four years.

The union says the new offer before the membership includes a better raise for markers and demonstrators compared to the last proposal.

Dalhousie's faculty association backed the union in the dispute. Some staff joined members on the picket line at times to show their support.

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