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CUPE locals at the University of British Columbia  (UBC) have had a busy September welcoming new and returning students and members to the campus.

On September 21, CUPE Locals 116, 2278 and 2950 were on hand for UBC’s 8th Annual Welcome Back Staff BBQ. The event, hosted by the UBC President’s and Human Resources Offices, welcomes UBC staff to the new academic year. Those attending were treated to a barbeque lunch, live entertainment, and information at booths set up by 19 groups across UBC, including CUPE locals.

CUPE 116 members worked the event, doing setup and cleanup. They also cooked and served food to over 3800 people. “We had great participation from CUPE members and many people visited our booths,” said Colleen Garbe, president of CUPE 116.

CUPE 2950 president Nancy Forhan said that locals welcome this opportunity to link CUPE with the broader campus community. “It is also a great place for members to drop by, say hello, pick up an extra copy of collective agreements or newsletters, or get caught up on the latest news,” she said.

CUPE locals were also visible at UBC’s Graduate Student Orientation BBQ for new and returning grad students September 2. Taking the lead at the event was CUPE 2278, which represents graduate students who are teaching assistants and markers across many faculties, departments and disciplines at UBC.

Geraldina Polanco, president of CUPE 2278, said that because of the independent nature of the work her members do, the grad BBQ is an important place for connecting with new members and letting them know that the union is there to support them.”