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This article was published 10/4/2012 (3204 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.
THE University of Manitoba is facing a possible strike by thousands of support staff -- even though the university says its offer is better than the union's proposal.
The university is offering the Association of Employees Supporting Education Services (AESES) $215,000 in cash plus the same overall wage increases the union seeks.
The key in the dispute is that AESES has rejected the U of M's proposal to start a four-year deal with a two-year wage freeze. The U of M is offering zero, zero, 2.9 and 2.9, plus $215,000 for adjustments in some job levels.
The union is asking for zero, 2.9, zero and 2.9 over four years.
"The $215,000 has all kinds of riders attached, cost-sharing. This just came out of nowhere," AESES president Tom Moyle said Tuesday.
A conciliator will meet with the two sides today.
AESES represents 2,626 non-teaching support staff. The union has a strike mandate, though it received only 55 per cent support.
"I realize that" is a low support rate, said Moyle, but AESES has called another membership meeting for April 19 at which it will ask "for a resounding vote of support for strike action."
Moyle said the union has made no decision about when it might strike, but acknowledged it is unlikely anything would occur before students finish their exams this month.
U of M director of marketing and communications John Danakas said Tuesday the university's offer "is equal to or higher than the union proposal."
One year of a zero increase would be retroactive to April 1, 2010, when the previous contract expired, he pointed out. "One year has already passed."
Danakas said Lloyd Schreyer, the province's secretary to the cabinet compensation committee, attended last Thursday's bargaining session. A government official said Tuesday the province wants public-sector employees to take what the province is terming a two-year wage pause.