The parties have ratified a three-year agreement for the period between July 1, 2014 and June 30, 2017. BUFA represents 576 professors and professional librarians at Brock.Bargaining discussions commenced in May 2014 and pre-conciliation mediation began on Aug. 6. BUFA and the University acknowledge the critical role of mediator Peter Simpson, from the Ministry of Labour, in bringing the parties together and building a bridge to the tentative agreement.The tentative agreement was reached on Aug. 13. It was ratified by the Brock University Board of Trustees on Aug. 25 and by the BUFA membership on Aug. 29. read more

WASHINGTON — Spending on U.S. construction projects fell in June by the largest amount in seven months, reflecting weakness in home building, nonresidential construction and the largest drop in government projects in 17 years.The Commerce Department said Thursday that spending fell 1.3% in June. It followed a 0.5% decline in May and was the biggest drop since a similar 1.3% decline last November.The weakness in June was widespread. Housing construction decreased 0.5 per cent, reflecting continued troubles in homebuilding. Nonresidential construction fell for a third straight month, down 0.3 per cent, with declines in such sectors as hospitals, schools and transportation.Government spending was down 3.7%, the biggest decline since a 6% drop in March 2002. Spending by state and local governments, the largest category, fell 4.1% while federal outlays rose 2.6%.The overall economy, as measured by the gross domestic product, slowed to growth at an annual rate of 2.1% in the April-June quarter, down from a 3.1% rate in the first three months of the year.Analysts believe second-half growth will remain around the 2% level and they are hoping that home construction may rebound with mortgage rates falling further in reaction to the decision by the Federal Reserve on Wednesday to cut its key policy rate for the first time in a decade.Residential construction fell at a 1.5% rate in the second quarter, its sixth straight quarterly decline.In a separate report Thursday, the government said the number of jobless workers filing for unemployment benefits rose by 8,000 to a seasonally adjusted 215,000 last week. It was the highest level in four weeks but even with the gain application, which serve as a proxy for layoffs, remained near historic lows.The government will release the July jobs report on Friday and many economists think it will show the jobless rate returning to near a half-century low of 3.6 per cent, after rising slightly to 3.7% in June.Martin Crutsinger, The Associated Press read more