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Union local at UT rejects contract offer

Members of one union at the University of Toledo voted overwhelmingly against a contract offer from the administration yesterday, sending both sides back to the bargaining table.

Rick Seward, vice president of the Communication Workers of America, Local 4530, said the vote includes an authorization to strike, though the union must continue negotiations and seek a fact finder, if needed, before official strike notice can be given.

Mr. Seward said the members largely were unhappy that they were offered a one-year contract, which would expire June 30, 2005.

It called for a 2 percent raise and a $300 signing bonus, he said.

The official vote was 62 for the proposed pact and 402 against it, Mr. Seward said.

The CWA local has more than 600 members and includes clerical, custodial, and grounds employees, among others at UT.

Members of another union, the American Association of University Professors, tenured and nontenured, will vote Wednesday on a contract.

Jim Sciarini, associate vice president of human resources, said the university is still negotiating contracts with two other unions.

The university's health contract with the unions expired on Dec. 31, 2004.

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