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June 18, 2012

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CUPE 116 at UBC enters mediation

VANCOUVER – CUPE 116 has returned to the bargaining table with a mediator.  The UBC local met with the employer on Friday at the Labour Relations Board with mediator Mark Atkinson present. 

CUPE 116 reports that the employer set out its monetary proposals for the first time. “These proposals are the product of a university-wide 'Savings Plan' that has been largely influenced  by the provincial government  and used as an obstructive measure to prevent the parties from engaging in free collective bargaining,” the bargaining committee says.  The University's initial monetary proposals were “complex, unclear, and in some cases, well short of negotiable.” The employer answered some, but not all, union questions about the monetary proposal.

CUPE 116 and UBC have also launched Essential Service discussions and expect an agreement on levels in the coming weeks. An Essential Service Order is now required before the local can start job action.

The two sides are scheduled to meet again on Wednesday, June 27 to resume mediation. The bargaining committee says it will “try to secure additional dates with the employer in the meantime, with the intention of reaching agreement on a number of critical non-monetary proposals that have been reserved for discussion outside of the mediation framework.”

CUPE 116 is one of three CUPE locals at the University of British Columbia. Its 2,000 members represent custodians, dental assistants, IT services, machinists, mail clerks, stores keepers, trades people, gardeners, mechanics, sign makers and labourers. As well as food services, parking and access, campus security, lifeguards, landscape technologists, book store employees and engineering and research technicians.

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