PRINCE GEORGE–Contract talks broke off today at the College of New Caledonia. CUPE Local 4951 says the negotiations reached an impasse after the union presented its offer of settlement to the college and were told the college has ‘no money’ for a new contract with its unionized workers.
The union says the problem is not with the employer, but with the provincial government. Under the BC Liberals’ Cooperative Gains Mandate, colleges have to find ‘savings’ in their already stretched operations to convert into long overdue wage increases for support workers.
CUPE Local 4951 has been without a contract since 2010 as have the other BC colleges with CUPE support staff. So far, only CUPE 4627 at Vancouver Community College has launched strike action, but several are planning to hold strike votes. CUPE 4951 will hold a strike vote next Wednesday.
If the strike vote passes, the union will still have to serve 72-hour strike notice to the BC Labour Relations Board before launching legal job action.
CUPE 4951 represents more than 300 operational staff at the College of New Caledonia and has members at five campuses in regional areas including, Lakes District, Mackenzie, Vanderhoof, Fort St. James, Quesnel and Prince George.