In the late spring of 2011, CUPE as part of the Colleges and Institutes Support Staff Bargaining Association (CISSBA), put provincial bargaining on hold to try and make some progress at local tables. After months of a frustrating lack of progress with individual employers, CUPE bargaining reps are headed back to the provincial college sector table with a position that four years of zero percent wage increases are not acceptable.
Ian McLean, CUPE National Representative and Colleges Coordinator, announced that CUPE is not interested in taking the net zero mandate back to its members. “Our CUPE members in BC’s colleges are not interested in taking zero per cent wage increases because anything less than the cost of living is actually a rollback. CUPE is going to return to the provincial table looking to work creatively with the provincial employers’ association to find meaningful gains for the people that keep BC’s colleges working. For example, CUPE will look at the possibility of combining the two bargaining mandates forced on the public sector by the BC Liberal government.”
McLean called the bargaining process, which has been ongoing since 2010, extremely frustrating and put the blame at the provincial government. “The net zero mandate has really hamstrung collective bargaining in BC and the new cooperative gains mandate is hardly any better. Our members deserve fair increases and recognition of the diverse work they do for BC’s public post-secondary sector.”
As CUPE heads back to the provincial bargaining table, members will be looking for better job security language to ensure adequate service levels are met and the possibility of combining employer benefits plans to ensure adequate coverage while actually reducing costs for the individual college employers. CUPE will also be looking at contracting-in language to help bring outsourced jobs back in-house which often leads to savings as well.
CUPE members working in BC’s colleges help students in British Columbia receive quality post-secondary education from application to graduation. We are behind the scenes and in the classroom. From lab support and technical assistance to registration and IT services, BC’s Colleges work because we do.