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University of Waterloo -- Waterloo, Ontario, Canada
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Wednesday, May 15, 1996

Faculty union is turned down

Officials of the Ontario Labour Relations Board have counted the votes cast by faculty members, instructors and librarians in mid-April, and announced last night that the voters had rejected the faculty association as their bargaining agent.

There were 287 ballots marked in favour of unionization, 361 against, with 4 spoiled ballots.

Another 54 ballots were "segregated and not counted" after two days of negotiation in which faculty association and UW management representatives settled most of their differences over who should be in the bargaining unit if union certification did come. Eventually, the official voters' list included 978 people, of whom 706 cast ballots.

It's thought to be the first time that professors at a Canadian university have ever voted "no" to unionization.

That's about all I know this morning -- will hope for further information soon, just for the record, about how the bargaining unit was defined by the time the ballots were counted in Toronto. And no doubt management and faculty association leadership will have something to say about what happens now over faculty salaries, possible changes to the grievance procedures, and other issues.

Five-sixths of students have jobs

As of May 2, in the first week of the spring work term, there were 2,789 co-op students with jobs and 571 without, the co-op department reports. That's 83.0 per cent of those "scheduled to work" who had found jobs by the beginning of the term.

Placement rates vary from one faculty to another and one year to another: more than 94 per cent of accounting students are in jobs, for example, but only 65 per cent of architecture students. In mathematics, all 23 fourth-year students have jobs, but only 202 out of 266 first-year students.

A year ago, at the beginning of the spring 1995 work term, the placement rate was similar: 82.4 per cent.

"The spring term is always the most difficult for co-op employment," says co-op director Bruce Lumsden, "as we are competing with the normal influx of post-secondary students seeking employment in the summer months.

"We will be continuing to pursue employment opportunities for the spring term over the upcoming weeks. Obviously any leads that can be suggested by the university community are welcome."

Dancing in Humanities

The Carousel Dance Centre, based in UW's department of dance, presents its year-end recital in the Humanities Theatre, tonight and tomorrow night at 7:00. Tickets are $8.50 for adults, $6.50 for students, seniors and children.

A number of commercial dance studios will be having recitals in Humanities in the next month or so, the theatre centre advises: the Ewald Academy of Dancing, May 25-26; Centre Stage Dance Studio, May 29-30; Moree School of Dance, June 1-2; Waterloo Dance Centre, June 4-5; Dimensions in Dance, June 8-9; Let's Dance, June 15-16; Bojangles Dance Arts, June 18-19; Academy of Dance, June 22-23.

Retirees meet this afternoon

The annual meeting of the UW Retirees' Association begins at 2:30 today in room 102W of Village II. The association is growing by more than 300 people this year, thanks to the early retirement program. Says the latest issue of the group's newsletter:
The primary function of UWRA is to act as a liaison to the University on behalf of all retirees. Since 1968, under the Bylaws of the Board of Governors of the University, a member of UWRA has been appointed each year to serve as a voting member of the UW Pension and Benefits Committee. . . . In addition, members of the UWRA Board meet periodically with members of UW central administration to exchange information and enhance cooperative activity. . . .

UWRA also provides a number of other services. . . . For example: Approximately 85% of current UWRA members reside in Southwestern Ontario, this a number of social activities are scheduled through the year at UW to enable retirees to renew or continue friendships with former colleagues. . . . Opportunities for members who wish to volunteer and assist the University special projects are organized and promoted by UWRA.

Today's meeting will be electing a president to succeed George Soulis at the head of UWRA. The nominee is Dave Copp, formerly of the co-op department. Kay Hill (computing services) has been nominated for another year as secretary, and Harold Ellenton (physics) to take over as treasurer.

Also happening this sunny day

And . . . UW's top management is off tonight through Friday to the Kempenfelt Bay resort near Barrie, for its annual planning retreat.

Chris Redmond -- credmond@watserv1.uwaterloo.ca
Information and Public Affairs, University of Waterloo
(519) 888-4567 ext. 3004

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