BURNABY–Striking support workers were joined on the picket line by CUPE BC president Barry O’Neill today. O’Neill pledged the continued support of the Canadian Union of Public Employees’ 80,000 members in BC as the strikers announced plans to remain on the picket line tomorrow. O’Neill also met with student supporters and striking picketers from the TSSU teaching assistants’ union.
More than 1,000 members of CUPE Local 3338 are on strike at SFU to pressure the administration to get back to the bargaining table. At every other CUPE staffed university, collective agreements have been signed including at UBC, UNBC, Thompson Rivers, Royal Roads and UVic. CUPE 3338 President Lynne Fowler says, “only at SFU has the administration repeatedly refused to return to the bargaining table to reach a settlement – they have been stalling for more than two years and we have had enough.” The union’s contract expired in 2010.
Fowler confirmed that the picket lines that shut down the main Burnaby campus today will be repeated tomorrow and that pickets will also be going up at the SFU Surrey campus tomorrow and at SFU Harbour Centre on Saturday and Sunday.
“We met with the administration this morning and they still won’t acknowledge the need to negotiate,” says Fowler, “but they are feeling the heat, and we will continue to turn up that heat until they do the right thing.” Fowler says her members are “100 per cent behind the escalating job action.”