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In March 2010, eight of the ten locals that make up CUPE’s Universities Coordinated Bargaining Committee (UCBC) in B.C. served notice to bargain. The other two followed shortly thereafter.

The UCBC meets regularly to remain coordinated, share progress, and monitor the status of bargaining in other education sectors and provincial unions. This coordination extends to other education sectors including the K-12 Presidents’ Council and CUPE Colleges Bargaining Council.

This fall, our committee, representing the 12,000 CUPE members at UBC, SFU, TRU, UNBC, UVic, and RRU met in September and just wrapped a two-day meeting on October 16 and 17.

As part of our ongoing efforts to coordinate with CUPE’s other education sectors, representatives from UCBC have attended provincial meetings with similar provincial bargaining bodies in the K-12 and colleges sectors. Representatives from those sectors have also attended our meetings to share their experiences with us. The Universities Coordinated Bargaining Committee has also set dates for future meetings in November, December and January. Other key dates for UCBC and members include:

  • October 30, 2011 – Post Secondary Forum at CUPE’s National Convention
  • November 22, 2011 – Lancaster Public Sector Bargaining Conference
  • November 22-24, 2011 – CUPE BC’s Anti-PrivatizationConference
  • January 31 – February 3, 2012 – CUPE  Public Sector Bargaining Conference

At the most recent UCBC meeting, representatives from all of the locals agreed to an action plan to help move bargaining forward. That plan includes all locals securing new bargaining dates, meetings with key government and opposition representatives, and a re-invigorated Universities Work campaign to educate our communities on the importance of our roles in BC’s universities and communities.  The common issues we are working towards are improvements to job security, contracting out, cost of living, wages, to name a few.

UCBC is also monitoring analysis flowing from the provincial government’s most recent Throne Speech on October 3, 2011. In that speech, the government hinted at a new provincial bargaining mandate for 2012 and beyond. While details are scarce, CUPE and UCBC are committed to adjusting our strategies as needed to respond to any changes from the provincial government.

UCBC is also committed to moving forward with a common front of unified bargaining with other CUPE sectors and provincial unions. We will attend the February 2012 Public Sector Bargaining Conference to ensure we are working collectively on a common front strategy as required to strengthen our right to free collective bargaining. 

The members of the Universities Coordinated Bargaining Committee will continue to work together to achieve collective agreements across the sector that meet the needs of all CUPE members in the B.C. universities.

Colleen Garbe, UCBC Co-Chair
Lois Rugg, UCBC Co-Chair
Tracey Mathieson, CUPE Universities Coordinator 

The Universities Coordinated Bargaining Committee represents workers at:

Royal Roads University in Victoria (CUPE 3886)
Simon Fraser University in Burnaby, Vancouver & Surrey (CUPE 3338)
Thompson Rivers University in Kamloops (CUPE 4879)
University of British Columbia in Vancouver (CUPE 116, 2278and 2950)
University of Victoria (CUPE 917, 951and 4163)
University of Northern BC in Prince George (CUPE 3799)