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May 18, 2012

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Strong strike votes at UBC/Uvic

VANCOUVER – CUPE Locals 116 and 2278 have secured strong strike votes from their members.  The members of local 116 voted 89 per cent in favour of a strike mandate for their bargaining team while 2278 members provided an 81 per cent vote in favour. 

Outside workers at the University of Victoria, members of CUPE 917, gave their bargaining team a resounding 93 per cent strike vote.  The local also had a great turnout with 75 per cent of its 500 members taking part in the vote.  The reason for the vote? The local sums it up this way:

  • Local 917 has been without a contract for two years;
  • The local has met with the employer on approximately 20 occasions and has had exhaustive discussions on all issues;
  • The local has sought the aid of a mediator in an attempt to move the talks forward with little or no success; 

The employer has been unwilling to move on any substantial issues and offers no monetary value to the contract for 2010-2012.

The University of BC locals have also been without a new collective agreement since 2010. Like all other public sector unions in BC, they have been hampered by the provincial government’s two year net-zero mandate. In 2012, the province announced a new cooperative gains mandate that allows employers to offer wage increases, if they can find savings inside the collective agreement.

Both UBC locals are trying to secure a deal that enhances job security, protects benefits and delivers a meaningful wage increase for members. This could mean an agreement that bridges the two mandates. The locals report their members are committed to making meaningful gains.

Local 116 president Colleen Garbe said her bargaining team is continuing efforts for a fair and respectful collective agreement and expects to be back at the table for the employer’s monetary proposal in the last week of May.

CUPE 116 is made up of close to 2,000 members representing: Custodial Services, Dental Assistants, IT Services, Machinists, Mail Clerks, Stores Keepers, Carpenters, Electricians, Sheet Metal Workers, Plumbers, Steam Fitters, Plasterers, Upholsterers, Painters, Locksmiths, Bricklayers, Mechanical Maintenance, Gardeners, Mechanics, Sign Makers and Labourers. As well as Food Services, Parking and Access, Campus Security, Life Guards, Landscape Technologists, Book Store Employees and Engineering and Research Technicians.

CUPE 2278 represents UBC Teaching Assistants, Markers, Tutors, and Instructors and the English Language Institute.


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