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Following more than two years of protracted negotiations, the Post-Secondary Employers Association (PSEA) announced that it is abandoning the provincial templatetable negotiations, the college and Institute Support Staff Bargaining Association (CISSBA) said on Friday, April 13.

The employer group, which represents 9 of 19 college, institute and university employers, cited the potential impact of provincial templatetable negotiations on other local post secondary tables as a reason for walking away from the negotiations.

We are disappointed that PSEA has decided to abandon the provincial template table negotiations,” says BCGEU President Darryl Walker. “Little has changed since we began coordinated negotiations with employers in 2010. We continue to believe that the provincial template table is the best way to reach a coordinated, fair and reasonable agreement in the post secondary sector.”

The negotiations have progressed very slowly under the net zero mandate,” says CUPE BC President Barry O’Neill. “The employer had previously cancelled negotiation sessions, which has impeded progress at the bargaining table. But walking away from the provincial template table is unlikely to move negotiations along more quickly.”

In abandoning the provincial template table negotiations, PSEA has decided to move bargaining on monetary issues to the 19 individual local tables – further complicating the bargaining process and achieving little advantage.

CISSBA remains committed to work together toward a coordinated bargaining strategy, working with individual bargaining committees at local tables, and to encourage employers to return to Provincial Template Table negotiations.

The days and weeks ahead will show whether employers are committed to reaching a settlement. CISSBA will continue to seek input from members on options to move negotiations forward.