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VANCOUVER — Following three days of government-imposed mediation between CUPE, the union representing 5000 unionized employees at UBC and university management, bargaining has hit a stalemate.

“It is clear that a resolution mechanism is required to end this dispute and UBC has turned down CUPE’s proposal for a mutually agreed upon mediator/arbitrator whose job it would be to propose binding arbitration on the dispute.” said Connie Credico, CUPE bargaining representative.

“We worked hard for three days,” said Credico, “and managed to removed many small items from the table but issues such as contracting-out, tuition fees, benefits and wages remain unresolved.”

Rumours of a legislated contract have been in the wind during bargaining. “There is no doubt that UBC wants a legislated contract instead of mediated arbitration,” said Credico, “it’s the only alternative to mediated arbitration. We can only assume that UBC feels very confident of what would be in government legislation to be holding out waiting for government to impose a contract on university employees.”

“It is unquestionably a sad day for democracy when an academic institution of the stature of UBC turns to government to speak on its behalf.” said Barry O’Neill, President of CUPE BC. “In the face of having rights stripped and contracts imposed by government, working people will no doubt increase their opposition to the direction being taken by government.”


Connie Credico, CUPE universities co-ordinator