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VANCOUVER – After a difficult strike marked by government intervention in democratic bargaining, University of British Columbia workers are disappointed in the arbitrated collective agreement announced today.

“We did not expect parity with the 63 per cent wage increase given to UBC president Martha Piper, but we expected a fairer settlement than we got,” said CUPE National Representative, Connie Credico, chief negotiator for about 5,000 CUPE members on campus.

At first glance the teaching assistants (Local 2278) appear to have won a solid wage increase with an award of 11.5 per cent. However, that does not take into account the tuition fee increases imposed by the university after the government lifted the freeze.

“We got a bit more than the what UBC was offering, but we would have preferred tuition assistance,” Credico said. “The increased tuition means our TA’s will lose money with this award.”

Local 2950 (library and support) got no wage increase. However, they got most of the pay equity money that they had won in a previous round. The university was trying to take it away. They also won about 2 per cent in wage increases for most members through increments. This had been lost in an earlier arbitration and had to be re-bargained.

Local 116 (maintenance) got no increase either and made no gains on the contracting-out front. The award gave UBC more leeway to contract out beyond new construction. It will now be able to contract out renovation and repair work previously done by CUPE members.

“This was a bad bargaining dream turned into a nightmare,” Credico said. “It has undermined the democratic bargaining process in a community that prides itself on being a pillar of democratic thought. This is a loss for everyone.”


Contact: Connie Credico, National Representative, 604-209-7308 (cell) or 291-1940.