Cape Breton UniversitySupport staff at Cape Breton University, members of CUPE 3131, voted 96 per cent in favour of a strike mandate on January 29, 2018.

Eight face-to-face bargaining sessions took place and, after talks broke down last week, the union applied to the Nova Scotia Department of Labour and Advanced Education for conciliation in contract negotiations. The two sides will meet with a conciliator on February 13, 2018.

“When we explained our frustrations in this round of bargaining and the issues that remain on the table, the members were understandably disappointed,” says CUPE 3131 President Darren MacKinnon. “We’re looking for equality – the same things that the other CBU unions currently have in their contracts.”

Outstanding issues include contracting out, job layoffs and wages.

“The last thing we want is a disruption of services to students and teaching staff. However, we are prepared to back our demands with a strike. And we don’t take that responsibility lightly,” says MacKinnon.

CUPE Local 3131 represents approximately 65 members who work as administrative and support staff at Cape Breton University. The union’s collective agreement expired March 31, 2016.