Ottawa Citizen

Think of the students

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As unions at Carleton University wrestle with management over their collective agreements, employer and employees owe it to students to settle without a disruption.

The school’s professors and librarians have set Nov. 15 as a strike date; the teaching assistants have voted 81 per cent in favour of a strike but haven’t set a date. A third unit, representi­ng sessional lecturers, has a strike vote set for next week. Only a strike or lockout involving the professors and librarians would be likely to shut the campus, but doing without any of the three groups would be very disruptive students’ educations.

Strike votes are routine parts of labour- management negotiatio­ns, so it’s not as though a walkout is imminent. In this situation, as in most public- sector disputes, university administra­tors and workers alike know that Carleton will still be there at the end of any strike or lockout. Students will miss classes, have their summers shortened, and probably not get their money refunded.

It is best for students to get new agreements signed as quickly as possible.

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