Job action up in the air for COTR

CUPE Local 2773 will be waiting one more day for a response from the B.C. government before COTR support staff decides to take job action

CUPE Local 2773 will be waiting one more day for a response from the B.C. provincial government before College of the Rockies support staff decides to take job action, says local president Pam Catsirelis.

“We decided as a group that we would give the government one more day,” she told the Townsman.

A 72-hour strike notice was delivered this week setting a potential for strike action on Monday, November 19. But on Thursday the decision was made across CUPE to allow one more day for a response from the B.C. Liberal government. Job action could happen on Tuesday but Catsirelis said it’s up to the entire CUPE Local 2773 to decide.

“It’s a provincial group so we make our decisions as a group,” she said. “It’s fluid.”

Catsirelis said the union has been meeting with their employer, the B.C. Post Secondary Employers Association (PSEA), since August 23. The PSEA represents smaller universities like COTR in the province on behalf of the provincial government.

Tuesday would be the

latest the union could strike under the current 72-hour notice. Catsirelis said support workers that would

participate in the job

action would include library technicians, media techs, facility and administration staff.

“It’s broad, it’s not just grounds keepers,” she said.

The action would include all COTR campuses in Fernie, Golden, Invermere, Kimberley and Creston. Catsirelis said the strike would not include faculty, however she said they had indicated they would not cross the picket line.

The contract for CUPE Local 2773 expired on June 30, 2010 and local bargaining was completed in the spring of 2011 according to Catsirelis.

COTR is providing updates as they come in for students online at cotr.ca/jobaction.