October 4th Job Action – what’s next? Overtime ban . . . .

The job action at UNBC on Thursday, October 4th, 2012 was amazing – beautiful weather, cheerful faces and much chatter while walking the line together – very upbeat! Speaking for the Executive, I want to thank each member for their commitment to this job action. Job well done!

We had several non-UNBC employees or CUPE members that supported and joined us on the line as well – The City of Prince George, CUPE Local 1048 came up, BCGEU was represented as well as HEU and COPE. The Faculty Association members brought donuts throughout the afternoon and cheered on our efforts.  (I’m sure I have forgotten others that came out, not intentional by any means)

The Strike Committee did an awesome job of contacting members the night before, getting everything organized and ready for us by 1:00 p.m. Thank you to all the members that stepped up and assisted with the Strike Committee, it made a huge difference, your efforts and time are much appreciated!

To those that spoke with the media, your message was very clear – we want to get back to the table, we want a signed contract now – this message was heard, not only at UNBC but at all the Universities in B.C. Thank you to all that said “yes!” when asked by the media if they would comment.

Your show of solidary with job action on the 4th did have an impact with management at UNBC!! The Bargaining Committee will meet with the management team on Monday afternoon!

We would like to keep the pressure to get a signed contract on!

Walking the halls, members of the Bargaining Committee and Executive are stopped regularly as members keep asking “what’s next?, when will it happen?”.

The Executive met today and have all agreed that the next job action will be an overtime ban, starting Thursday, October 11th, 2012 at 8:00 a.m. We again ask that all CUPE members honour and support this job action. There are some significant projects underway at UNBC currently, many of which require CUPE members to put in extra hours to get the job done. We request that you adhere to the overtime ban effective Thursday, October 11th until we have reached at the very least a tentative agreement at the bargaining table.

Just to touch on the October 4th job action – all the universities, with the exception of Royal Roads who is waiting on their Essential Service Order (ESO) at this point, took part in a coordinated job action; Royal Roads participated by having an information picket. Entire buildings were shut down and members walked out. The question has been asked “why was UNBC the only campus that shut down the entire campus?”. After much deliberation, it was decided that it is difficult, and not necessarily fair to the members involved, to take out individual locations. The dynamics at each university are vastly different. UBC taking out several buildings on campus is much easier to do as the buildings are not interconnected like UNBC. The same holds true for all the southern universities, their buildings, for the most part, stand independent of each other. Additionally, UBC, UVic and TRU have campuses much, much larger than UNBC. Taking down several services at those campuses likely took as many members, if not more, off the job, than the entire campus at UNBC. The coordinated effort of all the universities was not to be in “lock-step”, that we would all do the exact same thing; it was to coordinate our efforts with job action to get management back to getting contracts signed – we are doing that, at each university.

The Bargaining Team was called to a last minute, urgent conference call at 2:00 this afternoon. I will send out the details of that conference call via CUPE press release very shortly – we have a University Coordinated Bargaining Committee (UCBC) group that has reached a tentative contract from the employer! Did the October 4th job action drive that? You bet it did!!

Let’s keep the momentum up, let’s keep the pressure on to get the same at UNBC!

In solidarity,

Caroline