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November 20, 2012

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More BC colleges behind picket lines

VICTORIA–Five more BC community colleges are on strike.  The job action comes after failed last minute efforts by CUPE to get the provincial government to sign off on collective agreements with BC’s 3,000 CUPE college support workers.

Campus-wide CUPE strikes start at 6am this morning and include North Island College, Vancouver Island University, Camosun College, College of the Rockies and the College of New Caledonia. Initial plans call for a two-day shutdown. Vancouver Community College was completely shutdown at both its campuses in Vancouver yesterday by CUPE 4627 members.

At issue is a blockage in negotiations at the province’s Public Sector Employers’ Council and the ministry of advanced education. CUPE’s BC Colleges Coordinator Ian McLean says, “if it wasn’t for government interference in collective bargaining, we would be heading to work this morning with a reasonable contract in our pocket. Instead, we are heading for the picket line.”

CUPE support workers at BC’s community colleges have been without a contract since 2010.  The unionized workers are looking for a no-concessions four-year deal with 2 percent wage increases in the last two years, in line with other recent public sector settlements in BC.



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