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Support staff at Nipissing University reach tentative deal to avert strike

Negotiators for Nipissing University have reached a tentative contract agreement with support staff at the school, union officials said Friday.

Officials with OPSEU Local 608 said in a statement that details of the contract will be shared with members first.

“While the wage increases are important, there are other details that make this deal of interest and we need time to communicate with the members and ensure they know all those details,” the statement said.

While the bargaining team and school were at the table in conciliation, university support staff have been out and about at various campus locations this week taking photos in solidarity calling on the school to increase workers' wages and bargain in good faith.

"We're just here showing support of the bargaining team right now and we're looking for a fair contract," said Kyle Charron, who works at the school as a learning systems technologist.

OPSEU Local 608 represents university support staff, including employees in admission, finance, academic advising, residence life, athletics, student counselling and the library. It excludes university faculty and administrators.

“We do all the day-to-day stuff, everything from registering the courses to IT support to supporting and maintaining that the facilities are clean," said Charron.

For years, the union has said that employee wages have failed to keep up with the soaring cost of living. The union argues staff have had to go above and beyond helping the university navigate its financial crisis.

An interview request made before the tentative deal was reached with the university president and vice-chancellor Kevin Wamsley was not granted. Top Stories

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