University of Victoria groundskeeper marks off spaces on Tuesday to be used by over-nighters at the 24 hour relay this weekend. Members from two CUPE locals at UVic have voted in favour of strike action

UVic unions vote to strike

No job action planned, as mediated meetings scheduled for next week

No job action planned, as mediated meetings scheduled for next week

Pickets and placards could soon go up at the University of Victoria, after two unions – representing some 1,500 employees – recently voted in favour of striking.

CUPE 951 members, who work office, technical, library and childcare jobs on campus, voted 80 per cent in favour of a strike on May 23.

“For them, 80 per cent is very high. Inside workers tend to be a little more cautious when it comes to strike votes,” said Loree Wilcox, CUPE national servicing rep.

In late April, CUPE 917 members voted 93 per cent in favour of a strike. That local represents tradespeople working at UVic, plus grounds workers, janitors, painters, housekeepers, lifeguards, utility drivers, food service staff, cooks auditorium staff and security officers.

Both unions have been without a contract since March 31, 2010.

Wilcox says the success of meetings held next week (June 5 through 7) with the employer will determine whether the unions will hit the picket line.

“The employer is returning next week with their approved cost-savings plan through the 2012 mandate, so we’re meeting with them and the mediator to see what that brings,” she said.

“It’s been a protracted round of bargaining, to say the least,” Wilcox added, saying that bargaining began in October 2010.

Kane Kilbey, UVic’s associate vice-president of human resources, wrote in a pair of bulletins posted online that he remains confident the bargaining process will be successful.

“It is not uncommon for a union to take a strike vote (and receive a strong strike mandate) during the collective bargaining process and we respect their right to do so,” he wrote. “With mediation still in progress and the required essential services yet to be designated, we do not believe that any job action is imminent …”

The cost-savings plan to be brought forward this week during negotiations will also cover the third CUPE union on campus: local 4163, which represents teaching assistants, ESL instructors and sessional instructors.

The TAs and ESL instructors have been without a contract since March 2010, but Wilcox says that union has “no plans at this time” to hold a strike vote.

“That’s simply because they operate on a more school-year-type calendar. And with school being done, they can wait for the employer to bring back the cost-savings plan for all three locals.”

Two-year agreements, expiring this year, have been reached with the Faculty Association, Professional Employees’ Association, and the sessional instructors with CUPE 4163.

Kilbey wrote that negotiations with those unions will begin imminently.

kslavin@saanichnews.com

 

Just Posted

B.C. Lions hype-man marks 15 years of cheers

Crazy P cheers, chants, bangs his drum and spreads a message of love

Saanich Peninsula Hospital Foundation looks to grow funding for memory garden

Foundation will start new campaign next month as it wraps up recruitment campaign

Survey says 27% of Victoria employers look to hire this quarter

Another 13 % of employers anticipate cutbacks

UPDATED: Heavy police presence in Victoria had part of Bay Street blocked off

Bay Street east of Quadra Street was blocked off on Saturday

VIDEO: Grizzly bears fight along northern B.C. highway in rare footage

Cari McGillivray posted the head-turning video, shot near Stewart, B.C., to social media

Handgun crackdown, health spending and transit plans latest campaign promises

Friday was the end of a busy week on the campaign trail

B.C. woman photographs massive ant swarm on Abbotsford driveway

She asked what the ants were doing? The answer: war

Iconic 90s TV show ‘Friends’ celebrates 25th anniversary

The iconic, decade-long television show aired its first episode 25 years ago today

Police arrest B.C. phone scammer linked to illegal call centres in India

Person arrested in Burnaby here on a work visa, says police

Air Canada forced girl, 12, to remove hijab: civil rights group

The San Francisco Bay Area office of the Council on American-Islamic Relations calling for change

Man from Winnipeg who was hiking alone found dead in Banff National Park

RCMP say the man was hiking alone on Mount Temple Thursday

Resident finds loaded shotgun inside a duffle bag in Kelowna alleyway

RCMP seized a loaded 12-gauge shotgun, ammunition, clothing and other items

Most Read