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VICTORIA, BC–Five more BC community colleges are on strike. The job action comes after failed last minute efforts by CUPE to get the provincial government to sign off on collective agreements with B.C.’s 3,000 CUPE college support workers.

Campus-wide CUPE strikes start at 6am this morning and include North Island College, Vancouver Island University, Camosun College, College of the Rockies and the College of New Caledonia. Initial plans call for a two-day shutdown. Vancouver Community College was completely shutdown at both its campuses in Vancouver yesterday by CUPE 4627 members.

At issue is a blockage in negotiations at the province’s Public Sector Employers’ Council and the ministry of advanced education. CUPE’s BC Colleges Coordinator Ian McLean says, “If it wasn’t for government interference in collective bargaining, we would be heading to work this morning with a reasonable contract in our pocket. Instead, we are heading for the picket line.”

CUPE support workers at BC’s community colleges have been without a contract since 2010. The unionized workers are looking for a no-concessions four-year deal with two percent wage increases in the last two years, in line with other recent public sector settlements in B.C.

For more information, please contact:

Ian McLean
CUPE BC Colleges Coordinator
 250.816.2077

Murray Bush
CUPE National Communications Representative
 778.554.2234

Local Contacts:

Pam Catsirelis
CUPE 2773 President, College of the Rockies
 250.919.1040

Lily Bachand
CUPE 4951 President, College of New Caledonia
 250.565.4913

Louise Oetting
CUPE 2081 Chief Steward, Camosun College
 250.812.2081

Michelle Waite
CUPE 3479 President, North Island College
 250.898.9166

Deborah Hopper
CUPE 1858 President, Vancouver Island University
 250.741.7942

Jo Hansen
CUPE 4627 Chief Steward, Vancouver Community College
 778.881.4627