B.C. universities ratify agreements with CUPE locals

Modest wage increases consistent with B.C. Cooperative Gains Mandate

Under British Columbia’s Cooperative Gains Mandate, four agreements were ratified on Nov. 13 with Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) locals at the University of Victoria, the University of British Columbia and the University of Northern B.C.

The agreements do not include wage increases for the first two years, keeping in line with the 2011 Net Zero Mandate, and two per cent wage increases in the third and fourth years.

“The many agreements reached in the past month show significant progress is being made under the Cooperative Gains Mandate, despite the tough fiscal environment,” minister of Finance Michael de Jong said in a press release.

“This mandate provides the opportunity for employers and unions to find creative solutions, and this means no two settlements are going to be alike. We are going to see unique settlements in every sector and with each employer.”

CUPE Local 917 represents about 450 employees at the University of Victoria who work as janitors, trades people, food service workers and other services. CUPE Local 951 represents 750 employees at the university in clerical, library, secretarial, daycare, nursing and technical positions.

At the University of British Columbia, CUPE Local 116 represents 2,000 trades, food services, custodial, security and research employees.

CUPE Local 3799 at the University of Northern B.C. represents 350 administrative and support staff.

The Cooperative Gains Mandate provides employers in the public sector with the ability to negotiate wage increases from already existing budgets, rather than getting new money funded from the provincial government, which would affect taxpayers in B.C. It applies to all public sector employers whose collective agreements expired on or after Dec. 31, 2011.

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