B.U. Faculty And Trustees Sign Contract
Boston University's trustees and faculty ratified a three-year contract yesterday, officially ending the nine-day-old faculty strike at B.U.
B.U.'s clerical workers and librarians remain on strike, and many faculty members said yesterday they would not cross picket lines to return to work.
Spokesmen for the 900 clerical workers and 20 professional librarians said yesterday these employees will stay on strike until the university recognizes the unions and agrees to negotiate with them.
The breakthrough in negotiations came at 6:30 a.m. yesterday after an all-night negotiating session with federal mediators. The trustees quickly ratified the new contract, which was similar to the one they rejected last week, and the faculty union approved it by a 271 to 23 vote yesterday evening after two hours of stormy debate.
Fritz K. Ringer, president of the faculty union, said to loud applause from union members he would not cross picket lines set up by the striking clerical workers and librarians, and he advised faculty members to follow their consciences.
Robert C. Bergenheim, a university trustee, said at a press conference last night professors might be fired if they refused to return to work, but declined to say whether dismissals were likely.
The trustees delayed ratification of the contract approved last week by negotiators and the faculty pending clarification of what they called ambiguities. The faculty union called the strike when a meeting of the two sides failed to resolve the differences. The clerical workers and librarians joined the strike the next day.
"Both sides gave and both sides got," Bergenheim said about the latest contract. "Nobody won, but we can both live with it," he added.
Both sides refused to speculate on how many faculty members would stay away from work in support of the other unions.