Comox Valley Record

No disruptions planned for North Island College classrooms this week

There will be no class disruptions due to CUPE college support workers striking at North Island College this week, according to CUPE 3479 president Michelle Waite.

Classes were cancelled for two days last week as CUPE Local 3479 members picketed at all North Island College campuses to try to pressure government to move on wages in contract negotiations.

Waite says talks between CUPE college workers and the Post-Secondary Employers’ Association (PSEA) are set for this Friday, Saturday and Sunday, so there will be no picket lines this week.

"There will be no class disruptions in light of the fact that the Employers' Association has agreed to reconvene our provincial bargaining table for this weekend," says Waite. "That doesn't say that there won't be any actions; there will just be no class disruptions."

She adds CUPE is keeping quiet about what those actions could be right now, but that other forms of job action are "a possibility."

She adds the main thing on the table is expected to be wage negotiations; the union wants a four-per-cent pay hike over two years, similar to what university CUPE workers received in their recent deal.

"We're hopeful that now that the Employers' Association has agreed to reconvene the provincial table that we'll have some fruitful discussion and be able to reach an agreement," Waite says.

CUPE college support workers, of whom there are about 3,000 in the province, have been without a contract since 2010.

Other CUPE locals at public colleges across the province — like Camosun College and Vancouver Island University — were also on strike last week.

writer@comoxvalleyrecord.com

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