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December 3, 2012

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CUPE colleges construct framework deal

VANCOUVER—Three days of intense bargaining has produced a provincial framework deal for CUPE college support workers. The template for agreement was reached late Sunday night by the College and Institutes Support Staff Bargaining Association (CISSBA) and the government’s BC Post Secondary Employers' Association.

The framework is for a no concessions, four-year deal with no wage increases in the first two years (under the provincial Net Zero Mandate) and increases spread over the final two years in line with recent other public sector agreements. The framework will now go back to CUPE-staffed colleges for finalizing agreements at local bargaining tables.

CUPE BC Colleges Coordinator Ian McLean said, "it was the unity and determined action of the CUPE college members standing strong that helped bring about the talks with the government and it was solidarity with our colleagues in other college support staff unions that brought us to a satisfactory framework."

"This progress is a direct result of our coordinated job actions at Vancouver Island University, the College of New Caledonia, the College of the Rockies, North Island College and Camosun College," said CUPE Local 1858 (VIU) President Deborah Hopper. "The ongoing unified actions by our collective team of institutions, including our two-day strikes, departmental shutdowns, rallies, and campus watch-dogging, kept the government serious in their work with us over those three long days of bargaining."

The CUPE Colleges Bargaining Committee (CCBC) was at the table representing more than 3,000 college support workers across the province.  Also at the table as part of the CISSBA were representatives of the BC Government & Service Employees’ Union and the Canadian Union of Office & Professional Employees.  CUPE also represents workers at Emily Carr University of Art and Design, Langara College and Vancouver Community College through locals which were not involved in the weekend negotiations.

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