The union representing some 357 administrative and support workers at Capilano University voted 94 per cent in favour of strike action against the university last week. And the union has the support of the university’s faculty in its labour dispute.
However, union and employer representatives reached a tentative agreement on monetary issues on the weekend, a representative of the university said on Monday (Dec. 3). The two sides were set to sit down again on Wednesday (Dec. 5) in an effort to hammer out an agreement on non-monetary issues, said David DeMynck, Cap U. director of marketing and communications.
Members of the Canadian Office and Professional Employees Union Local 378 voted in favour of job action last Thursday (Nov. 29). The parties have been bargaining on a new contract since Sept. 25.
Heather Lee, COPE 378 vice-president, said in a statement that the workers remained hopeful that a deal could be worked out before the union issues a 72-hour strike notice.
“Our members have waited long enough and their wages have fallen too far behind inflation,” she said.
A strike would likely affect Cap U’s Squamish’s students and faculty, officials said. Union representative Sage Aaron last week said COPE 378 has five members who work in computer support and outside maintenance at the Squamish campus. However, she added, “We do have the support of the Capilano University Faculty Association.”
Joanne Quirk, chief negotiator for CUFA, confirmed that on Friday (Nov. 30), saying, “We would definitely support the COPE faculty and not cross their picket lines” if there was a strike.