Four-year contract ratified between VIU's unionized support staff and Victoria

VIU Cowichan
VIU Cowichan's continuing-education staffer Kim Lesiuk (left) and welcome-centre worker Trudy Bagnall were among some 20 Local 1858 support employees on strike in November.
— image credit: Peter W. Rusland/file

Labour strife at VIU is over, for now.

That's due to Victoria inking a four-year, ratified contract with its unionized support staff at Cowichan's campus, and VIU's other sites.

The deal — spanning July 1, 2010 and June 30, 2014 — sports wage hikes and benefit boosts to workers in Local 1858 of the Canadian Union of Public Employees.

CUPE has told VIU brass, and B.C.'s Post-Secondary Employers Association, the offer has been ratified with its food-services workers, clerical staff, facilities workers, and library staffers.

The settlement includes zero wage increases in the first two years, and four 1% raises in the final two years — effective Dec. 1, 2012; March 1, 2013; July 1, 2013; and April 1, 2014 — for a total increase of 4% by deal's end.

The agreement also provides increases to vision coverage, and more, a VIU release explains.

"This agreement provides a fair wage increase and other improvements for our support-staff employees, while also ensuring our budget remains balanced and prudent," said Ralph Nilson, VIU president.

"Through this settlement, we are not only supporting the government's cooperative gains mandate but investing in our most valuable asset: our people."

"The commitment, professionalism and solidarity shown by our members through the fall was the key to moving this challenging bargaining process forward", Local 1858 president Deborah Hopper, said of November's two-day strike.

"Our members' unity resulted in an agreement that provides equitable improvements in line with those at other post-secondary institutions."

VIU and union agents were unavailable for further comment by posting time Wednesday.

But both parties thanked students for patience during bargaining.

VIU brass has told the News Leader Pictorial those two days of cancelled classes have been made up.

While VIU's support staff has reached a deal, another is on the horizon, the university's leaders say.

VIU's now in collective bargaining with the British Columbia Government and Service Employees' Union, Local 702, representing faculty teaching in vocational, developmental and applied programs.

VIU has also held preliminary talks with the VIU Faculty Association regarding a renewed collective agreement.

VIUFA represents faculty in academic and career programs, plus technical staff such as counsellors and librarians.

We encourage an open exchange of ideas on this story's topic, but we ask you to follow our guidelines for respecting community standards. Personal attacks, inappropriate language, and off-topic comments may be removed, and comment privileges revoked, per our Terms of Use. Please see our FAQ if you have questions or concerns about using Facebook to comment.

You might like ...

Community Events, March 2015

Add an Event

Read the latest eEdition

Browse the print edition page by page, including stories and ads.

Mar 6 edition online now. Browse the archives.