September 3, 2012
Dear CUPE 4163 member:
We write to bring you up to date on the state of bargaining at UVIC. We have been trying to keep members updated through various component specific socials, emails to members, steward’s meetings, departmental orientation meetings and social media ( including the 4163.CUPE.ca and cupeuvic.ca websites, and the CUPE4163 and UVIC TAs facebook pages). We apologize if we have missed members with this approach.
The Labour Relations Board Essential Services Order came out today putting CUPE 917 and 951, following the issuance of 72 hours notice today, in a legal strike position which will not commence prior to than 8am Wednesday September 5, 2012.
By way of background, CUPE 4163 component 1 and 2 have been in bargaining since October 2010 (the two components have one collective agreement). As there had been virtually no progress, the Union requested a mediator in February of this year. The mediated negotiations broke down in June with the employer making a monetary proposal of year 0% in year 1, 0% in year 2, 2% in year 3, and 1.5% in year 4, with nothing addressing several other key proposals of the union, such as inflation protection, tuition relief, guaranteed funding offset, end dates on variances to the minimum number of hours for TA positions.
Following similar frustrations at their bargaining tables, CUPE 95 (representing office, technical and childcare workers) and CUPE 917 ( representing trades, facilities and foods service workers) served strike notice. This notice was followed by the Employer’s application to the Labour Board to designate Essential Service Orders in the event of job action. We have been involved in Essential Services discussions/hearings most of the summer.
The key issues at the bargaining table for all of the CUPE locals are job security, wages and inflation protection.
CUPE 4163 hasn’t taken a strike vote, mainly because over one third of the members will be new this fall and will need time to get oriented and informed.
It is our intention to send out information to CUPE 4163 members on a regular basis when the situation on campus or in bargaining changes and will be sending further updates and information in the coming days/weeks.
With respect to your situation as members of CUPE and as students, if there is a picket line outside your building, we are recommending that you show your support by not crossing the picket line and speaking to the picket captain in the location regarding the job action and any questions you have. If you are in a position to do so, we are certain the strikers will appreciate you joining them on the line for some time. Solidarity as Union members is our strength. The more effective the picket line – the greater the likelihood that it will be a shorter strike.
All CUPE locals are hopeful that the Government and UVic will propose a fair and reasonable settlement in the near future so that everything can get back to normal on campus; until then, however, with a labour dispute comes some uncertainty for members of the unions involved and affected as well as for students.
With respect to component 3, the collective agreement expired March 31, 2012 and in the near future the membership will be asked to ratify proposals to begin bargaining.
In the event that job action is protracted (lasts for more than 10 days) the National Union and CUPE BC does provide strike pay for those eligible members who respect the picket lines. Although a decision will be made soon as to when CUPE 4163 component 1 and 2 may hold a strike vote, as a CUPE member supporting another CUPE local’s picket line, you will be eligible for strike pay as a result of not being able to work by not crossing the picket line. An FAQ related to National Union strike pay is on 4163.cupe.ca under the “strike info” tab.
We hope this provides information regarding the bargaining situation on campus. For the latest news, please check our 4163.cupe.ca website and face-book pages CUPE 4163 and UVic TAs.
With respect to the budget cuts at UVIC there are cuts campaign committees looking for additional members so please don’t hesitate to contact the office to volunteer. 250 472 4778 or firstname.lastname@example.org .
As we go through this difficult period we will be looking for volunteers for various tasks so please let us know if you are willing to give an hour of your time.
For your information a strike headquarters is being set up in the Technology Enterprise Facility outside the ring road. The headquarters will be down the hall from the CUPE 4163 offices – #217/21. We hope this bulletin provides useful information.
President, CUPE 4163
University of Victoria
Technology Enterprise Facility, rooms 217 & 219
2300 McKenzie Avenue
Victoria, BC V8P 5C2
Phone: (250) 472-4778