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January 21, 2013

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UVic Sessional Workers Ratify Two-Year Deal

VICTORIA—CUPE sessional instructors at the University of Victoria have ratified a new two-year collective agreement. The employer is expected to ratify the deal by the end of the month. 

The contract runs from May 1, 2012 - April 30, 2014 and includes wage increases of 2 percent in the first year and 1.38 percent in the second.

CUPE Local 4163 (component 3) represents more than 400 sessionals and music performance instructors at UVic and is the final local to ratify a new collective agreement in the current UVic round of bargaining.

The ratification vote was 96 percent in favour of the agreement. CUPE 4163 president Greg Melnechuk explains that "while there was a strong ratification vote, we don't see it as one of satisfaction with the employer's offer. This was a show of support for the bargaining team's hard work and recognition that in this political climate, a fair deal was not possible." The agreement was negotiated under the provincial government’s imposed Co-operative Gains Mandate that forced already strapped universities to find ‘savings’ for overdue employee wage increases. 

The agreement includes improvements to contact language including language on long-term disability, increased stipends for directed studies, distance education and course challenges and maternity/parental leave improvements.

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