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CUPE members working at the Vancouver Art Gallery have voted overwhelmingly in favour of a strike mandate.

The 95-per-cent vote came last night after lack of progress in contract talks with the gallery association. At issue are 120 employees who have been without a contract since 2010. “The VAG Association appears totally focused on its moving plans – we would like to see the association show the same commitment and dedication to the staff as they do to a new gallery,” said CUPE 15 bargaining representative Kathie Currie. Negotiations are scheduled to continue today and tomorrow.

CUPE 15 president Paul Faoro said he was not surprised by the high turnout for the vote or the strong vote of confidence for the union bargaining committee. “This is a very dedicated workforce that has weathered layoffs, decimated departments and unrealistic workloads while continuing to put the public first. Now, while the director of the gallery is making more than $300,000 a year and the provincial government is promising to pour tens of millions into a new location, the staff that makes the gallery actually work has been denied a fair and reasonable contract.”

CUPE represents clerical, curatorial, membership, public program and installation staff at the gallery. The union must still serve 72-hour notice to the BC Labour Board prior to launching job action that could range from an overtime ban to a full-scale walkout.

For more information, please contact:

Murray Bush
CUPE National Communications Representative

Paul Faoro
CUPE 15 President