UBC, VCC workers poised to strike 0
CUPE 2278 president Trish Everett
Cancelled classes and unmarked papers are among the potential impacts of escalating job action at the University of B.C., according to the union local president representing teaching assistants locked in a labour dispute.
Members of the Canadian Union of Public Employees local 2278 — the organization representing about 2,300 tutors, markers, English-language instructors and teaching assistants at UBC — are poised to picket an undisclosed building at the school Monday afternoon.
The strike comes after members voted 76% in favour of job action Wednesday in an effort to secure higher wages, tuition waivers and job security for student employees.
CUPE 2278 president Trish Everett said union will have to strike a delicate balance between getting tough with their employer and protecting students.
“Being a TA is my favourite part of being a grad student,” Everett told 24 hours, adding she does not want to see undergrads negatively affected by job action.
But if job action escalates, she said it’s possible classes could be cancelled depending on whether faculties support the union.
“The goal is always to go back to the bargaining table,” she said. “(Impacting students) will be the last tool in the bag.”
Meanwhile, support staff at Vancouver Community College are also set to strike this week. The 420 workers, represented by CUPE 4627, will start with an overtime ban Monday with a full work stoppage to follow on Tuesday. Members voted 93% in favour of job action.