Last Wednesday, negotiations began for new union contracts for over 1,200 employees at UR.

The opening meeting was held in Wilson Commons and will resume this Friday morning. The employees involved are members of Local 1199 Service Employees International Union and Local 200 SEIU.

The Local 1199 is the union of the medical center and hospital while the Local 200 is the union of River Campus employees.

The SEIU represents a wide range of service employees both from the campus as well as the medical center.

The main issues to be discussed are those of health benefits as well as an increase in employee wages.

Appalled that the institution could alter and lessen the already small contract given to the workers, 1199 SEIU Vice President Bruce Popper is working hard to sustain the current income and benefits that both UR employees and hospital service workers are receiving.

Negotiations similar to these took place in September 2004 and came to an end in March. Both the campus and hospital contracts, which had always been dealt with separately, set to expire tomorrow.

Both parties eventually agreed to accept a 2.75 percent increase in their wages and maintain the level of benefits that they were currently dealing with.

Ctrax available to students

for free music downloads

Like Cdigix and Cflix, which became available to the UR community last year as a digital resource for class-related materials, Ctrax recently became available for students to partake in free song downloading for over two million songs.

Students living in residence halls have access to Ctrax for free, and have the option to pay 89 cents to download a file to copy to an MP3 player or burn to a CD.

Napster is still available to students, with access to over 1.5 million songs and permanent downloads available for 99 cents.

“Thus, the university now offers its students a wider choice for legally obtained digital entertainment than any other college or university,” Public Relations Coordinator Sharon Dickman said in a press release. “In making these various legal alternatives available, we remind you that the university respects the intellectual property rights of its own community of authors and artists-both faculty and students-and would ask you to respect the rights of all who publish their works.”

Dickman warned students about the dangers of illegal music downloads and file sharing. “I am aware of a person involved in illegal file sharing [who] was convicted of criminal charges and faced maximum penalties of five years in prison and $250,000 in fines.”

D’Lions sponsor first blood drive of the year

The D’Lions are sponsoring a blood drive on Monday, October 3rd. The drive will be held in the May Room of Wilson Commons from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

The D’Lions’ drive will be the first of the year. The Office of the Dean of Students is coordinating additional blood drives on December 5th-6th and February 8th-9th.

Blood drives on campus in previous years have been very successful, most resulting in over 100 donations of blood.

Donors can give blood as frequently as every 56 days.

Appointments for any of the blood drives can be scheduled online at or by calling the Dean of Students Office at 275-4085.

Reporting by Samantha Lewis,

and Emily Paret.

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