June 18, 2014
Washington -- Today, Dr. Chris Smith, Director of AURA Observatory in Chile, announced that AURA has officially completed the 2014 round of negotiations with the Union of AURA Employees in Chile and signed a new two-year collective contract covering the period from 1 July 2014 through 30 June 2016. This marks a significant achievement built on nearly 50 years of successful operations in the Southern Hemisphere.
AURA facilities in Chile, operating on a site 450 km north of Santiago, include the Cerro Tololo Inter-American Observatory (a unit of the U.S. National Optical Astronomy Observatory), the Gemini South Telescope (a unit of the international Gemini Observatory), the Southern Astrophysical Research telescope, and the future site of the Large Synoptic Survey Telescope.
From its beginnings in Chile, AURA has abided strictly by Chilean labor laws. AURA's Chilean employees formed their Union in 1969 with the immediate recognition of the organization, and AURA has maintained good relations with the unionís representatives and its employees throughout its history. Together with the Union, AURA co-sponsors educational and recreational activities for all of its employees in Chile (Chilean and expatriate), and has developed benefits packages that are customized to the unique environment of an international observatory in Chile. AURA employs almost 200 Chileans on site, several of whom occupy senior management positions.
In announcing the agreement, Smith said "Together, through our open dialog and joint search for the best ways to use our limited resources, we've reinforced the image, and the reality, of AURA as an institution that both respects and works with our Union and staff, creating a positive environment in which everyone can participate in the institutional mission of the advancement of our understanding of the Universe.
Dr. William S. Smith, President
Association of Universities for Research in Astronomy
Dr. Chris Smith
Head of Mission, AURA Observatory in Chile
PHONE: Primary 520-777-0005, Chile 011-56-51-2205214