UBC CUPE 2950 Clerical workers sign tentative deal – Provincial Zero Mandate? Not Quite


VANCOUVER – CUPE Local 2950, representing 1,500 clerical, library and hospital staff at the University of British Columbia, has signed a tentative collective agreement. The deal reached early this afternoon is for 0-0-2-2% wage increases over four years ending in 2014.

Highlights of the deal:
• No concessions
• No wage increases for the first two years under the provincial Net Zero Mandate
• 2% wage increase retroactive to April 1, 2012
• 2% wage increase on April 1, 2013*
• (*2.25%  for Chan Centre workers in the final year (starting April 1, 2013) to help move their wage grid more in line with Industry standards)

The deal also includes an Employment Insurance rebate to be placed on the wage grid, a revision of retirement language to include the right to work past age 65 and clarification of the status of temporary workers and the role of Staff Finders at UBC.

The tentative agreement must still be ratified by the members of CUPE 2950 and approved by the provincial government. This is the first tentative agreement reached at a BC university staffed by CUPE support workers in the current round of bargaining. The last contract expired in 2010.

CUPE 2950 president Nancy Forhan called the agreement “the best we can accomplish with the current university economic circumstances and political interference in BC.” She added that, “we are not ecstatic about this agreement – it does little to undo years of wage controls set by the BC Liberals.”  Forhan added that despite the frustrations, the CUPE 2950 bargaining committee is recommending members ratify the collective agreement.

All five of BC’s largest universities (UBC, SFU, UVic, Thompson Rivers University and the University of Northern BC) have taken strike action in the past week in efforts to get their employers back to the bargaining table for a deal.  Talks continue with CUPE locals 917, 951 and 4163 at the University of Victoria and CUPE Local 2278 at UBC this week. An overtime ban went into effect today at TRU in Kamloops, where talks are scheduled for Oct 18 -19.  CUPE Local 3799 at UNBC meets with the university bargaining team on Oct. 15-16. The employer still refuses to negotiate a deal with CUPE 3338 at SFU.