Warning message

Please note that this page is from our archives. There may be more up-to-date content about this topic on our website. Use our search engine to find out.
VANCOUVERAs one group of UBC support staff hits the pavement, two other groups have taken strike votes that overwhelmingly demonstrate the cumulative and mounting frustration of UBC workers involved in the current round of labour negotiations.

86 percent of workers in CUPE local 116, the union representing all manner of technical support staff, from lab assistants to food service workers, voted in favour of striking, as did over 97 percent of Aquatic Centre workersmembers of the same local.

“We’re looking for fairness in these negotiations,” said local president, Paul Cooke. “All we’re getting is touchy feely rhetoric about the UBC family from president Piper. But those who are playing her tune at the bargaining table are not responding to the needs of support staff with the generosity bestowed on president Piper herself.

The contract between both units of CUPE 116 ends Mar. 3. Initial bargaining began March 2002 but ended in an impasse and mediation. “We took a strike vote,” said Cooke, “because mediation has not really brought results to date.” The next step, if progress can’t be made, will be for the parties to ask the mediator to book out. “Dropping tools and picking up picket signs is not the first choice of any working person,” says Cooke, “but if the university cannot help us to reach a fair settlement, we may not have another choice.”

A strike vote by UBC’s clerical support staff, members of CUPE local 2950, is scheduled to take place on Feb. 20, 2003. CUPE local 2278, CUPE’s teaching assistants have already started taking sporadic strike actions in their dispute with the same employer.


Contact:Paul Cooke, President of CUPE Local 116:
Ph. 604-822-6116 or (cell) 604-813-6115