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This article was published 20/8/2010 (3438 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.
Union negotiations with the University of Manitoba ended in a lockout for security staff Friday night.
The university and the Association of Employees Supporting Education Services, which represents 27 security staff, failed to come to an agreement during talks that began at 2:30 p.m.
U of M spokesman John Danakas said negotiations will begin again on Monday. Until then, a private firm will be in charge of security services on both campuses.
The 11th-hour talks came after over a year of negotiations left the two sides still at loggerheads over issues including wage and disciplinary procedures. One of the union's biggest concerns was the university's request to drop staffing levels, allowing security guards to patrol alone instead of with a partner. In a statement after the vote, AESES said the union feared that move could put guards, students and "all persons on university grounds in jeopardy."
"We'll be setting up picket lines starting Monday morning," said John Urkevich, business agent for AESES.
"I think they're absolutely wrong," he said of the university's decision to lock out staff.
Urkevich is unhappy the university wants the option to reduce staff from what he believes is already a bare minimum level.
"They want to have the ability to have even less (staff) on. It's hard for us at the union to fathom that."
Students are upset at the proposed cuts to security as the fall semester approaches, University of Manitoba Students' Union president Heather Laube said Friday.
"The flexibility proposed by the University to have only a single Patrol Officer on duty for each campus for over 30,000 people is completely irresponsible. This jeopardizes the safety of students, staff, faculty and the officers themselves," she said in a news release.
She said a lockout would jeopardize the availability of non-violent crisis intervention training for students and staff on campus, such as nursing students and resident advisors. Nursing students require the training to prepare for training placements. Resident advisors act as the first line of response for personal safety, mental health, emotional counseling and general welfare issues for residence students.
"We understand the provincial government and university want to cut their budgets, but that burden should not be placed on students and the public-sector workers that keep us safe," Laube said in the release.
In June, professors in the plant sciences department organized security patrols in their building after a graduate student was attacked in her office one night and in October 2009, a first-year student was stabbed in the chest outside Frank Kennedy Centre on the University of Manitoba's Fort Garry campus.