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CUPE college support workers construct framework deal

Three days of bargaining in Vancouver has produced a provincial framework deal for CUPE college support workers. The College and Institutes Support Bargaining Association and the government’s B.C. Post Secondary Employer’s Association reached the template for agreement late Sunday night.

The deal follows job action that affected the Fernie College of the Rockies (COTR) campus, over the last two weeks. Following a complete campus shutdown and picketing on November 20 and 21, the facilities and shipping/receiving/purchasing departments of all COTR campuses were closed on November 28, 29, and 30. The five other COTR campuses also took part in the strike action, along with several other colleges across the province.

The framework is for a no concessions, four year deal, with no wage increases in the first two years, and increases spreading over the last two years, keeping in line with other recent public sector agreements.

“It was the unity and determined action of the CUPE college members standing strong that helped bring about the talks with the government,” said Ian McLean, CUPE B.C. Colleges Coordinator. “It was solidarity with our colleagues in other college support staff unions that brought us to a satisfactory framework.”

The framework will now go back to CUPE staffed colleges for finalizing agreements at local bargaining tables. CUPE President at College of the Rockies, Pam Catsirelis, said she expects an agreement to be reached by Christmas.

The CUPE Colleges Bargaining Committee (CCBC) was at the table representing more than 3,000 college support workers across the province.  Also at the table as part of the CISSBA were representatives of the BC Government & Service Employees’ Union and the Canadian Union of Office & Professional Employees.  CUPE also represents workers at Emily Carr University of Art and Design, Langara College and Vancouver Community College through locals which were not involved in the weekend negotiations.

The unionized college support workers of CUPE Local 2773 serve in a number of support service departments at College of the Rockies, including facilities, IT, finance, admissions, registration, financial aid, library, and bookstore.

For the most recent labour action updates, go the Job Action website at http://www.cotr.bc.ca/jobaction.

 

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