Nov 14, 2012

Impasse prompts strike votes at BC colleges

COURTENAY - CUPE support workers at Camosun and North Island College are the latest to move towards strike action in BC’s post secondary colleges sector. 

CUPE members at North Island College have given their bargaining committee an overwhelming strike mandate.  CUPE Local 3479 members voted 86% in favour of strike action yesterday. On Saturday, CUPE Local 2081 members at Camosun College voted 96% in favour of strike action.

At the College of New Caledonia, CUPE Local 4951 is holding a strike vote today with results expected early this evening.

The colleges must still serve 72-hour strike notice to the BC Labour Relations Board before launching legal job action.  Vancouver Island University support workers have their strike vote in place and CUPE workers at the College of the Rockies served strike notice this morning. Vancouver Community College workers have been taking rotating strike action for two weeks.

The colleges all report reaching impasse in contract talks with their employers and the provincial government. They have been without a contract since 2010.  The main issues are a fair wage increase and inflation protection in line with other recent public sector contract settlements.

The Canadian Union of Public Employees represents more than 3,000 support workers at six BC colleges.

COPE 491