News briefs – Nov. 7, 2012

Devan C. Tasa, News Editor Ω

Strike officially over

Students no longer have to fear going to school and finding a picket line blocking their way into class.

Members of Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) Local 4897, which represents support workers at the university, decided to accept a new contract which will see zero per cent increases for the first two years and two per cent increases for the last two years in a vote that took place Oct. 29 and 30.

The four-year contract is backdated to 2010 and will last until April 1, 2014.

Of the union’s 607 members, 53 per cent cast a ballot. Of those voters, 85 per cent voted in favour of the contract.

The union was working without a contract since 2010. It was concerned about stagnant wages in the face of inflation and increased costs like parking and job security.

Since 2010, inflation has made the general cost of goods and services go up 4.36 per cent.

The union is expecting to be back in bargaining for the next contract as early as next year.

Park somewhere else: businesses

Those trying to avoid paying the increased fees at TRU parking lots by parking at nearby businesses may get a nasty surprise.

Summit Shopping Centre, home of stores such as Winners, Sport Mart and Taco Del Mar has informed the university that it will tow any vehicles that have been there for an extended period of time, obviously not doing business at any of the stores.

This isn’t the first business to give such a warning. The shopping centre that contains Wal-Mart and the Tournament Capital Centre has also sent notices to the university.

“By parking offsite you’ve dodged the increased price of parking at TRU,” said a press release from the university, “but one tow could wipe that out.”

As of September of this year, parking fees at TRU have increased from $3 to $4.

University wants drivers to slow down

Those students rushing to class in their cars Sept. 11 were observed by Kamloops Speed Watch – and about 40 per cent of those vehicles were going above the 30 kilometres per hour speed limit.

Between 10 a.m. to 2 p.m, 644 vehicles entered campus. At the university’s East Gate, 47 per cent of the 330 vehicles were going over the speed limit. At the West Gate, 34 per cent of the 314 vehicles were over.

The fastest speed at the East Gate was 67 km/h while at the West Gate, it was 61 km/h.

“This highlights the need for all drivers to slow down, drive the speed limit and watch for pedestrians,” said Stacey Jyrkkanen, TRU’s manager of health and safety and emergency management in a press release. “With the weather conditions making driving treacherous at times, it is even more important to slow down and drive for the road conditions.”

The numbers are an improvement from October of last year.  Of 282 vehicles at East Gate, 62 per cent were over. Of the 218 vehicles at West Gate, 45 per cent were over.