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October 31, 2012

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UVic support workers sign tentative deal

VICTORIA—Two CUPE locals at the University of Victoria signed a tentative agreement today after more than two years at the bargaining table.

The agreement, which must still be ratified by union members and by the university, is a no-concession, four-year deal with 0-0-2-2% wage increases. The zeros for the first two years reflect the BC Liberals' Net Zero Mandate which prevented public sector workers from getting any wage increases for 2010 and 2011. The wage hikes are retroactive to April 1, 2012 and on April 1, 2013.

The 900 members of CUPE 951 represent office, technical and childcare workers, while CUPE 917 represents 600 food services, janitorial, trades, groundskeepers, security, and waste management staff.

CUPE 917 and 951 took strike action two months ago to press for a settlement. They instituted an overtime ban and had rotating picket lines up at several locations across campus.  Those lines came down when the employer returned to the bargaining table. The locals say the biggest hurdle was getting the provincial government's Public Sector Employers' Council to approve the terms already negotiated by the union and the employer.

The third CUPE local at UVic, CUPE 4163 representing 1,500 teaching assistants, language instructors and sessionals, is still at the bargaining table.

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