COTR support staff to picket Tuesday, Wednesday

Classes have been cancelled at College of the Rockies today as B.C.'s college support workers take to the picket lines.

Classes have been cancelled at College of the Rockies today as B.C.’s college support workers take to the picket lines.

CUPE BC Colleges Co-ordinator Ian McLean confirmed Monday that the Local 2773 union would be participating in job action on Tuesday and Wednesday unless a settlement between the B.C. Post Secondary Employers Association, who bargain on behalf of the B.C. government, and CUPE is reached before then.

President and CEO of COTR Dr. Nick Rubidge said Monday morning that support employees would be participating in labour action, but said parts of the building would remain open so that students could work on homework.

“We anticipate having a labour disruption here,” he told the Townsman.

Management will be at the college from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. during the strike action to answer questions and deal with student issues. Picket lines are expected at Cranbrook’s main campus and at campuses in Creston, Golden and Fernie.

CUPE has been in a position to strike as of October 22, and had previously notified the college of their intention to take job action anytime after 9 p.m. on November 14 for 72 hours. The union represents 3,000 support workers who have been without a contract for two and a half years.

Local 2773 president Pam Catsirelis said on Thursday that the union had decided to allow the B.C. provincial government one more day for a response after serving their employers with 72-hour strike notice. The union had originally been slated to walk out on Monday.

On their information page for students, COTR said Local 2773 represents a variety of support service departments such as facilities, IT, finance, admissions, registration, financial aid, residence, library, bookstore and campus life.

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.

Rubidge said the Gold Creek, Golden and Kimberley campuses will be closed during the job action, but the main facility in Cranbrook would remain open.

“We’re working hard at keeping the institution going as well as we can,” he said.

Students will be able to use the library and at least one computer lab, which will allow them to work on homework if they would like to use the faiclity during the job action.

“Students will hopefully be able to use the time to catch up,” Rubidge said.

Negotiations with CUPE and PSEA have been ongoing since the contract expired in 2010. Bargaining is not done locally in Cranbrook but instead through the CUPE union as a group and the PSEA.

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

Joining COTR in the strike will be support staff at fellow B.C. institutions Camosun College, Vancouver Island University, College of New Caledonia, Vancouver Community College and North Island College.

Information on the job action for students is available at the COTR website, www.cotr.bc.ca/jobaction.

Just Posted

Ice trade for overage forward

Kootenay sends a conditional 6th round pick to Brandon in exchange for Gunnar Wegleitner

Council provides update on indoor sports facility

Mayor Pratt says the city has provided a letter of intent to facility organizer.

Harley Owners Group makes donations to several organizations

The Kootenay Chapter of the Harley Owners Group (HOG) dispersed the proceeds… Continue reading

Cranbrook Dodge helps Las ChaChas roll through their summer tour

Cranbrook Dodge, presented a 2005 Dodge Caravan to Las ChaChas, an exciting band from Sayulita, Mexico, for their use from July 18 through Sept. 8.

One home lost in Wycliffe grass fire

RDEK rescinds remaining evacuation orders for three properties

WATCH: The Week in Review: July 20

WATCH: READ MORE: Grassfire destroys home One home was lost in a… Continue reading

BC Wildfire update on Okanagan blazes

Watch the media briefing on the current fire situation in the Okanagan.

RCMP help to save goats from wildfire

The fast-approaching wildfire, sparked Thursday, forced the evacuation of five homes

VIDEO: Near drowning captured on popular B.C. river

Search and Rescue manager says the popular pastime of floating in the summer is inherently dangerous

Crosswalk vandalism leaves black mark for Cowichan as B.C. Games begin

Rainbow crosswalk defaced just days after being painted

Photo gallery: BC Games Day 1

A brief look at action from the 2018 BC Summer Games in the Cowichan Valley

WATCH: The Week in Review: July 20

WATCH: READ MORE: Grassfire destroys home One home was lost in a… Continue reading

UPDATED: Anti-pipeline campers digging in as eviction deadline expires

The City of Burnaby had ordered the Kinder Morgan pipeline protesters out for violating bylaws

Trump was taped talking of paying Playboy model: AP source

Source says former personal lawyer Michael Cohen secretly recorded discussion prior to 2016 election

Most Read