Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) - BC



Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) - BC

November 15, 2012 19:11 ET

CORRECTION FROM SOURCE: BC College workers poised for Tuesday Strike

NANAIMO, BRITISH COLUMBIA--(Marketwire - Nov. 15, 2012) - The following press release corrects and replaces the version sent out earlier today at 6:27 pm ET. (PSEC) was incorrectly listed as Public Exployers Committee. It should have been listed as Public Sector Employers' Council. The corrected release follows:

CUPE staff at BC's colleges are readying for strike action. Tentative plans call for an all-campus walkout starting on Tuesday, Nov. 20. Organizers say they are leaving the door open for the BC government to stop stalling and settle with the 3,000 CUPE support workers who have been without a contract for 2 1/2 years.

The CUPE locals have taken strike votes and are serving 72-hour strike notices this week. Camosun, Vancouver Island University, College of New Caledonia, College of the Rockies and North Island College all expect to all be in a legal position to strike by the start of next week. Vancouver Community College has been carrying out job actions for more than two weeks and is planning another all-campus walkout on Monday.

At issue for the colleges is the BC government's refusal to sign-off on new collective agreements. The last contract expired in 2010. All the CUPE college locals say they have a good relationship with their employer and that the stumbling block is the provincial government's Public Sector Employers' Council (PSEC) and Ministry of Advanced Education.

"We have been working closely with our employers to do everything in our power to settle this round of bargaining," says CUPE's BC Colleges Coordinator, Ian McLean. "We have met and worked with those employers over the past two years and proposed settlements in line with all the other recent public sector contracts. We have worked with the assistance of a mediator to try to streamline the process. To date all of these efforts have failed because we are told by our employers that they don't have a mandate to bargain from the government."

"The only reason we don't have a deal is because the BC Liberals have dropped the ball. We remain committed to negotiating a fair and reasonable contract, and our door is always open, but this government's interference in collective bargaining has pushed us to the point where our only alternative is job action," says McLean.

Other recent public sector wage settlements have been for four-year no-concessions deals with 0-0-2-2% wage increases.

Contact Information

  • Ian McLean
    CUPE BC Colleges Coordinator
    250-753-0118

    Murray Bush
    CUPE National Communications Representative
    778-554-2234

    CUPE BC College Contacts:
    College of the Rockies
    Pam Catsirelis
    CUPE 2773 President
    250-919-1040

    College of New Caledonia
    Lilly Bachand
    CUPE 4951 President
    250-565-4913

    Camosun College
    Louise Oetting
    CUPE 2081 Chief Steward
    250-812-2081

    North Island College
    Michelle Waite
    CUPE 3479 President
    250-898-9166

    Vancouver Island University
    Deborah Hopper
    CUPE 1858 President
    250-741-7942

    Vancouver Community College
    Jo Hansen
    CUPE 4627 Chief Steward
    778-881-4627