Western, Food Services Employees Try To Hash Out Deal

Western University and the union representing cooks, service staff, stockers and delivery workers on campus are at work  to try and avoid a looming food fight.

The two sides have been trying to come to an agreement since the collective agreement for CUPE Food Services expired on June 30, 2014. A new set of bargaining talks got underway on Thursday.

The union claims the University is disrespecting its members by offering food service staff a 0.5% wage increase over two years.  It claims the offer isn’t right given two recently signed agreements secured an almost 3% increase for unionized maintenance and administration staff. Western University would not confirm either offer.

CUPE National representative Fred Blake says they want the University to offer the cooks and servers that same increase.

The talks come as an August 8 strike/lockout date draws closer.

Western University’s Associate Vice President of Communications, Helen Connell, says they’re hoping for a quick resolution, but Food Services is self-funded, which can be a challenge.

CUPE is also asking Western to strike a committee to oversee working conditions in Food Services.

Talks are continuing.