Mediator Appointed in University of Victoria Dispute
Tuesday, September, 3, 2019
A mediator was recently appointed by the Labour Relations Board in the dispute between the University of Victoria and the CUPE 4163. The goal is to get the mediator to assist in resolving the last few issues remaining in the ongoing contract dispute. The union has not officially confirmed it will participate in the mediation process yet.
Negotiations began in early March and last until early August. At that point, the union’s negotiating team refused to table a counter offer made by the university and would not schedule future negotiation dates. There were only a few issues that remained unresolved at that point. The university said it is confident that a mediator will be successful in helping the two sides reach an agreement.
The union has a strike mandate following the favorable vote by 84 of its members to go on strike. The vote was taken in late July. Essential service providers will still be working, but the remainder of union members would go on strike.
The university released a statement saying it is committed to reaching a new collective agreement as soon as possible. It wants the updated agreement to address the needs of the staff, but also be reasonable and responsible. It also wants there to be no disruption that would have an effect on students and other staff members.
The majority of monetary issues have been resolved, but according to the school, those that remain cost more than what is allowed under the financial mandate that received approval from the provincial government for all public sector employers. These include doubling the severance formula for continuing sessional instructors and increasing the number of continuing sessional instructors by over 70%.