SIMON FRASER UNIVERSITY—CUPE local 3338 will hold a strike vote Sept. 25-27. The local represents 1,200 support workers at the university’s three campuses.
The unanimous decision by the union’s executive and bargaining committee to hold the vote comes after two years of fruitless talks with the employer. The union says the university has consistently blocked attempts to bargain in good faith ever since the existing contract expired in 2010. The main issues are job security, inflation protection and wages.
“After listing all the things that CUPE 3338 members should be willing to give up, the employer has refused to seriously consider a single one of our proposals,” says 3338 President Lynne Fowler. “We have been told that there is money in the university budget, but the employer won’t tell us how much. They have also said they fully intend to use any money available to try to fix the ailing SFU Pension Plan.
At this point, our only viable option is to move to legal job action on campus. Our goal is not to inconvenience students, but to get the employer to the table with a mandate to bargain a fair and reasonable collective agreement.”
If the members vote to give their union a strike mandate, the local can then serve 72-hour strike notice and be in a position for legal job action – up to and including a campus-wide strike.