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December 5, 2012

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CUPE workers get contract at North Island College

COURTENAY—CUPE workers at North Island College have a new tentative collective agreement.  The agreement, signed yesterday, is a four-year, no-concessions agreement with four 1 per cent wage hikes spread over the final two years. 

The tentative contract is retroactive to 2010 and has no wage increase in the first two years in keeping with the provincial government’s Net Zero Mandate which prevented any wage increases for public sector workers in 2010 and 2011. The agreement also includes housekeeping and language improvements.  The deal must still be ratified by the members of CUPE 3479 and a ratification vote has been scheduled for Dec. 11.

The settlement was reached in one final day of negotiations between CUPE Local 3479 and the college using the provincial template agreement established last weekend by the CUPE Colleges Bargaining Committee and the government’s BC Post Secondary Employers’ Association.

CUPE 3479 president Michelle Waite said she is “extremely proud of the strength that our members showed throughout this very difficult round of bargaining. It took solidarity and determination to get the deal we wanted. The same was true at the provincial table in reaching our framework agreement – it was unity in the face of government demands that we settle for less that got us what we needed.”

CUPE 3479 represents 169 administrative and support workers at NIC campuses in Courtenay, Campbell River, Port Alberni, Port Hardy and Ucluelet.

Local level negotiations are also underway with other members of the CUPE Colleges Bargaining Committee at Camosun, College of New Caledonia, Vancouver Island University and College of the Rockies using the provincial framework.

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