Jul 03, 2012

UNBC workers overwhelmingly approve strike action

PRINCE GEORGE–CUPE support workers at UNBC have voted 91 per cent in favour of strike action. The vote was taken over the last week and tallied this morning. CUPE 3799 represents more than 300 support workers at the University of Northern BC. Turnout for the vote was 75 per cent.   

CUPE Local 3799 president Caroline Sewell called the vote result “a strong message to the provincial government that chronic underfunding of post secondary education must stop. Our members have taken the brunt of the province’s financial mismanagement – now we want a fair and reasonable contract and are prepared to do what it takes to get it.”

Sewell explained that the strike vote “does not mean we will automatically go on strike - it means we are ready to take job action if it becomes necessary. It also means we are in solidarity with our fellow university support workers across BC in demanding that the provincial government do the right thing!”

CUPE 3799 has been negotiating for a new collective agreement for more than two years. Further talks aren’t scheduled to resume until September. “When we return to the table we will be carrying a strong strike mandate to ensure we achieve the best deal possible,” says Sewell. 

Issues for the support workers include job security and a meaningful wage increase. The negotiations are centred on a four-year deal that bridges the provincial government’s Net Zero mandate and Cooperative Gains mandate.

COPE 491