Strike still a possibility

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by Paul Mullin

Rider administrators and negotiators from the faculty union will be meeting today and Sunday hoping to jumpstart talks regarding faculty compensation.

As noted on the union’s Web site, rideraaup.org, the negotiations “are at their most critical stage.”

“If anyone thought this would go on forever they are confused,” said union Chief Negotiator Dr. Jeff Halpern.

According to the Web site, the union has stated that if the parties “have not reached substantial agreement by [Sunday], it is very likely that the AAUP would give the University notice of the end of the existing agreement.”

This would mean that unless the administration responded in a way favorable to the union, the current contract would expire on Sunday, Oct. 28, and the faculty would be on strike beginning Monday, Oct. 29.

“A strike is a real possibility,” said Halpern, an associate professor of sociology. “That’s why we are getting our pickets ready.”

According to Halpern, there is still a “considerable monetary difference” in the positions, parties, and he stressed that in the next two weeks “we need to close the gap.”

Administrators were unavailable for comment.

The current contract was originally set to expire on Sept. 30, but the two sides agreed to extend it. The negotiations are now week to week, as either side can provide the other with a week’s notice that it is dissatisfied with the current progress and is terminating the contract.

— Additional reporting by Paul Szaniawski

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