Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) - BC

Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) - BC

November 21, 2012 16:32 ET

CUPE colleges strike gets Gov't to meet

COMOX, BRITISH COLUMBIA--(Marketwire - Nov. 21, 2012) - Two days of strike action by 3,000 CUPE colleges workers has prompted a government call for a high-level meeting tomorrow. The strike action follows two years of fruitless contract talks. Campuses were virtually all shut down, with CUPE locals reporting that few students chose to cross picket lines.

The picket lines went up starting at 6am yesterday at the College of the Rockies (CUPE 2773), College of New Caledonia (CUPE 4951), Camosun College (CUPE 2081), North Island College (CUPE 3479) and Vancouver Island University (CUPE 1858). On Monday Vancouver Community College (CUPE 4627) led off the job action in Vancouver.

The coordinated job action has pushed the provincial government and the Post Secondary Employers' Association into calling a meeting with senior CUPE representatives tomorrow. The government has been the stumbling block in these negotiations with the colleges, not the employers. BC's CUPE colleges coordinator Ian McLean says, "it is solely due to the strong show of unity and commitment by CUPE college workers across British Columbia that this meeting with government is happening."

McLean said he is "cautiously optimistic" about tomorrow's meeting, adding that "we are always ready for any interaction that could lead us to a fair negotiated settlement."

The CUPE workers are pressuring the provincial government to come across with the same deal it recently approved for the same work at universities: 0-0-2-2% wage hikes on four-year, no concession collective agreements. The college locals have been without a contract since 2010. All the CUPE university workers in BC now have new contracts with the exception of CUPE 3338 at SFU (which has refused to settle because of problems it has with its pension plan).

Contact Information

  • Ian McLean
    CUPE BC Colleges Coordinator

    Murray Bush
    CUPE National Communications Representative

    Pam Catsirelis
    CUPE 2773 President
    College of the Rockies

    Lily Bachand
    CUPE 4951 President
    College of New Caledonia

    Louise Oetting
    CUPE 2081 Chief Steward
    Camosun College

    Michelle Waite
    CUPE 3479 President
    North Island College

    Deborah Hopper
    CUPE 1858 President
    Vancouver Island University

    Jo Hansen
    CUPE 4627 Chief Steward
    Vancouver Community College