BURNABY – The ratification vote by CUPE Local 1858 (Vancouver Island University) in Nanaimo on Monday, June 29 marked the completion of bargaining for all CUPE college sector locals that are part of the CUPE Colleges Bargaining Council (CCBC). All agreements followed the provincial mandate of 5.5 per cent over five years.
CUPE college sector coordinator Ian McLean expressed concern that, by the end of this contract, wages for college support staff will have fallen below the cost of living for more than a decade.
“The BC Liberal government has grossly underfunded post-secondary education for more than a decade,” said McLean. “Students as well as support staff and faculty end up paying the price.”
McLean noted that with the five-year agreement in place, CUPE college locals will have time to focus on the impacts of chronic underfunding and develop strategies to pressure government to restore adequate funding.
CUPE 1858 (Vancouver Island University), CUPE 2773 (College of the Rockies), CUPE 3479 (North Island College) and CUPE 4951 (College of New Caledonia) bargained as part of the Colleges and Institutes Support Staff Bargaining Association (CISSBA).
A template agreement was reached in November and locals then bargained local issues at their own bargaining tables.