Montreal university upset about rector being compared to 'Gilligan's Island' captain - InfoNews

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Montreal university upset about rector being compared to 'Gilligan's Island' captain

The cast of "Gilligan's Island" poses during filming of a two-hour reunion show, "The Return from Gilligan's Island," in Los Angeles, Ca., Oct. 2, 1978. From left are, Russell Johnson, the professor; Jim Backus as Thurston Howell III; Natalie Schafer, Mrs. Howell III; Alan Hale Jr., the skipper; Bob Denver, as Gilligan; Judith Baldwin, as Ginger, the only new cast member; and Dawn Wells, as Mary Ann. A Montreal university and one of its unions will sit down with a mediator Wednesday to discuss a flyer in which the institution's rector was compared to the captain on "Gilligan's Island." THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP /Wally Fong)
March 06, 2018 - 1:50 PM

MONTREAL - The TV sitcom "Gilligan's Island" is the highly unlikely focus of a dispute between a Montreal university and a union that represents some of its employees.

Both sides will sit down with a mediator Wednesday to discuss a flyer in which the institution's rector was compared to "Skipper," the captain in the popular 1960s TV show. The comedy was about seven castaways who are shipwrecked on an uncharted tropical island.

Montreal La Presse has reported the issue goes back to 2015 when unionized students employed in research projects as well as technical and teaching assistants at Universite de Montreal were negotiating a new collective agreement.

In a court filing, the university says the students' union, which is affiliated with the Public Service Alliance of Canada, published a leaflet in which rector Guy Breton is shown in a sailor's hat.

The handout asks who is in charge of the boat, if there is a captain on board and whether negotiations are hidden on "Gilligan's Island."

The university's vice-rector declared in the court document he found it offensive for the university to be associated with the TV series.

When contacted by The Canadian Press, the university would not comment in detail on the case or grant any interviews.

But it issued a statement saying it took the legal route to avoid further personal attacks on its representatives.

"In particular through the dissemination of disparaging and vexatious statements and images of them, including those sent to their homes, as well as to prevent the illegal appropriation and use of the image and trademarks of Universite de Montreal," it read.

The university noted that since the events in question arose, a new collective agreement has been reached and the parties involved have agreed to meet with a mediator to reach an out-of-court settlement.

An official with the Quebec branch of the Public Service Alliance of Canada defended the use of the unusual tactics.

Magali Picard, a regional vice-president, said in a statement the union is surprised to be in court still arguing a labour relations issue that dated back to 2015.

"Fundamentally, the issue concerns a union's freedom of expression in a difficult bargaining situation," she said

"The pressure tactics used at the time to bring the employer to the bargaining table were not out of the ordinary. Their purpose was to get the attention of management so that bargaining could begin."

News from © The Canadian Press, 2018
The Canadian Press

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