Logo for CUPE 3131Administrative and support staff at Cape Breton University  voted to accept the employer’s offer today, ending the possibility of job action. The employees are members of CUPE 3131.

The three-year agreement includes wage increases of 4.15% in the first year, and 2% and 2.25% percent in years two and three. Additionally, all employees will be upgraded to a new pay band, which means wages will rise by about 8% in the first year.

“This could not have been achieved without very diligent work on behalf of the bargaining committee and knowing that we had the support of the members” said CUPE 3131 President Allana Serroul. “The bargaining team was pleased to be able to achieve a fair wage increase for the members, many of whom have been struggling to pay their bills.”

The new collective agreement also includes improvements to vacation and sick leave as well as language against contracting out.

“I think with the overwhelming strike vote, the employer knew we were serious,” said CUPE representative Kathy MacLeod. “The local was not going to sit by and watch non-union staff being hired to do the same work for higher wages and better benefits, which is what has been happening.”

The previous agreement expired on March 31, 2023, and talks broke down in August. A tentative agreement was reached on September 7 after a tough day of conciliation. The approximately 90 employees work in finance, admissions and registration, student affairs, library services, IT, and academic support.