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On the eve of a media conference to announce job action in the BC College sector, the Post Secondary Employers’ Association agreed to join the unions’ call for a special mediator. Coordinated bargaining is taking place among five CUPE Locals and six other colleges represented by the BCGEU.

Once the two sides have agreed to the terms of reference for mediation, it is expected the provincial government will quickly appoint a special mediator. A special mediator has already been appointed to seek a settlement between seven CUPE locals and the employers of five BC universities. A media embargo remains in effect until at least January 31, the final date set for mediation.

Meanwhile in the K-12 sector strike votes continue, though representatives of the 47 locals that form the bargaining council have agreed not to take immediate job action under an interim accord on provincial common issues.

CUPE BC president Barry O’Neill said, “K-12 locals throughout the province continue to prepare themselves by finishing local bargaining and in some cases, taking strike votes. CUPE will be ready to act with strength once the current stage of technical analysis and recommendations is complete.”