Rotating strikes hit UVic

Security, administration staff walk off the job during continued job action

Picketing ramped up at the University of Victoria this week, as striking CUPE workers walked the line both Tuesday and Wednesday.

On the first day of picketing, campus security workers with CUPE 917 set up strikes around the campus security building.

On Wednesday, staff picketed at multiple UVic buildings throughout the day, including the Administrative Services Building, the Saunders Annex and a continuation of the strike at the campus security building. Workers from both 917 and CUPE 951 took part.

“We see it as sort of upping the ante a little bit. It’s starting to have a direct cost to the employer,” said Rob Park, president of CUPE 917.

This week’s job action hit departments linked with accounting, pensions, purchasing, printing and distribution services.

“We, again, are trying to move things along without impacting the students,” Park said. “We’re starting to run out of alternatives, but we’re still using the ones we’ve got.”

Doug Sprenger, president of CUPE 951 told the News last week the unions don’t intend to directly impact students until Sept. 17, unless both sides return to the bargaining table.

While that deadline is nearing, Bruce Kilpatrick, director of communications for UVic, says discussions are underway to get back to business.

“The doors have always been open. We want to get back to the table, we went to be talking about the issues because that’s the only way we’re going to get a settlement,” Kilpatrick said. “We’re both ready to return (to the bargaining table). Now we’re just working out the details of what days and the particulars we’ll be discussing.”

The two unions represent 1,500 non-teaching jobs such as tradespeople, food service staff, childcare workers, and office and library staff, and have both been without contracts since March 31, 2010. At issue for the unions is job security and inflation protection.

kslavin@saanichnews.com

 

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