MacEwan University support staff call for better pay

By Vickie Laliotis

JASPER PLACE — Support staff at MacEwan University demonstrated in front of MacEwan’s Centre for the Arts and Communications on Dec. 14 to call for better compensation.

MacEwan Staff Association protestor signs

Joyce Nethercote, a Grant MacEwan University adviser, holds a sign in protest for better compensation in front of the Centre for the Arts and Communications on Wednesday, Dec. 14, 2011. Photograph by Vickie Laliotis

The MacEwan Staff Association (MSA) is currently in negotiations with the university over wages, which it does not feel are in line with Edmonton’s current Consumer Price Index, said Joyce Nethercote, the university adviser for the communications programs at the west-end campus, located on 156th Street and Stony Plain Road.

“We’re having this information session just to let the university and the public know about MacEwan Staff Association’s importance to MacEwan University, and that the work we do is the backbone of MacEwan University,” Nethercote said.

About 25 staff  members held signs protesting the proposed two-per-cent compensation for 2011 and 2012, noting that the current CPI for this year is 3.5 per cent.

“We are in negotiations with the university and have been given an offer that we don’t feel is in line with Edmonton’s consumer price index, so we just want to let them know that we aren’t happy with that and we would like them to reconsider,” Nethercote said.

The negotiations between the MSA and the university began in early 2011 and will continue until further notice.

“Both sides are still talking, and we are hoping to find a resolution shortly,” said MacEwan media relations spokesperson David Beharry.

“I do understand their frustration and the university wants to move forward with a solution. The staff are incredibly important to MacEwan, and quite frankly we couldn’t function as a university without them.”


Here are more pictures from Wednesday’s demonstration: