72-hour strike notice issued for Vancouver Art Gallery

Fight over concessions, two-tier proposals: CUPE

72-hour strike notice issued for Vancouver Art Gallery
The last collective agreement expired in July 2017. GOOGLE STREET VIEW

The Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE), Local 15, served a 72-hour strike notice on Jan 28 on behalf of more than 200 workers at the Vancouver Art Gallery (VAG).

The union issued strike notice in response to gallery managers’ refusal to move away from significant concession demands, said CUPE.

“After months of bargaining, gallery managers continue to pursue major concessions, and two-tier working conditions and scheduling models,” said Warren Williams, CUPE 15 president. “The VAG’s business managers have rejected a number of reasonable counter-proposals and this has left us with no choice but to move forward with job action.”

Cuts to sick leave and major changes to long-standing scheduling practices are among the concessions demanded by gallery managers. Documents tabled by the union in support of their position showed that, in terms of compensation, VAG workers lag behind other gallery workers in Canada, said the union.

The last collective agreement expired in July 2017, and the two sides have been bargaining for a new agreement for more than eight months. The parties are scheduled to meet again on Jan. 30, and the union will be in a legal strike position as of Jan. 31, according to CUPE.

CUPE 15 represents more than 7,000 municipal, community social service, education and not-for-profit workers in Vancouver, and is B.C.’s largest CUPE local.

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