The University of Regina Students’ Union (URSU) has voted to withdraw its voluntary recognition of CUPE 1486 and is attempting to exclude supervisors from a representation vote to certify the union.

During the most recent round of bargaining, which commenced in April and halted in May, Carl Flis, the URSU general manager, requested the certification order for the local. Upon investigation it was found the local, while chartered in 1973, was never officially certified, making its recognition by URSU voluntary.

“CUPE 1486 has had a long and productive history of labour relations up until the most recent round of bargaining,” said Neil Petrich, president of the local. “It is frustrating that URSU has decided to ignore our long standing collective agreement and the rights it laid out for our members.”

CUPE initiated a membership vote to formally certify the local. A majority of members signed union cards, which initiated a vote at the Labour Relations Board (LRB). However, instead of letting the process play out, URSU has filed an objection with the LRB seeking to block supervisory employees from participating in the representation vote.

“It’s surprising that URSU is attempting to exclude supervisory employees because in December 2015, just months before bargaining commenced, it signed an ‘irrevocable election’ to keep supervisory employees in the bargaining unit in perpetuity,” added Petrich.

“While URSU publicly campaigns against high tuition, it has simultaneously voted to deny the labour rights of its own student workers,” said Petrich. “We are hopeful that URSU will do the right thing and recommit to working on its relationship with the union.”

A hearing at the LRB to count the ballots and to decide the standing of supervisors in the vote will be held on Tuesday, September 27, 2016.