More than 3,000 workers in the college sector in BC reached a settlement February 25, winning important gains in the areas of job security, benefits and pay equity. They also managed to gain a fourth year to their contract with a 2 per cent pay increase in the fourth year.
Fifteen hundred CUPE college support and technical staff and another fifteen hundred members of the BC Government Employees Union on ten college campuses across BC walked off the job February 23.
After more than two years of bargaining for some CUPE locals, the only outstanding item on the table was benefits. A mediator had already made recommendations that had been accepted by the employer and the unions and common ground had also been found at the college accord table. But it was only when the Public Sector Employers’ Council (PSEC) agreed to provide the necessary funds that a settlement was possible.