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CAUT Bulletin Archives

May 2000

Gordon Unger Receives CAUT Award

A long-serving staff member of one of CAUT's largest associations has been awarded the Donald C. Savage award for outstanding contributions to collective bargaining work and economic benefits in a university environment.

Gordon Unger, executive secretary of the Association of Academic Staff of the University of Alberta (AAS:UA) for more than 25 years, received the award at the April CAUT Council meeting.

"Mr. Unger has a distinguished record of contributions to collective bargaining and economic ben-
efits," said Vic Catano, former chair of CAUT's Collective Bargaining and Economic Benefits Committee. "His achievements include organizational leadership, policy implementation, legislation, publication, educational initiatives, and dedicated service."

Catano said in many ways Mr. Unger is responsible for collective bargaining in western Canada.

Mr. Unger negotiated and administered staff agreements for faculty and librarians, professional and administrative officers, and other academic staff members at the University of Alberta, and acted as chief spokesperson for negotiating teams. He is recognized as a knowledgeable benefits administrator and benefits plan designer who pioneered the concept of professional development allowances, the first dental care agreement at a Canadian university, and cooperative administration of benefits packages.

In his letter of support, Ron Bercov, a former president of both AAS:UA and CAUT stated: "Gordon came to the Association at a time when it was clear that in Alberta, university employees did not have access to collective bargaining under the Labour Act. With Gordon playing a very important role, we achieved first voluntary recognition and then legal bargaining status under the Universities Act. "

"The influence of Gordon Unger has been felt throughout Canada," said Catano. "He deserves the recognition of receiving the Donald C. Savage Award for his excellent contributions to collective bargaining and economic benefits."

The Donald C. Savage Award was established in 1997 in honour of Donald C. Savage, executive director of CAUT from 1972 to 1997, to recognize outstanding achievements in the promotion of collective bargaining in Canadian universities.

This is the second time the award has been presented.