University workers reach tentative deal

Vancouver Island University support workers are voting on a tentative agreement reached last week.

The four-year deal, which expires in 2014, has no wage increase in the first two years in keeping with the province’s net-zero mandate and four one-per cent wage hikes spread over the final two years.

The university’s roughly 300 Canadian Union of Public Employees workers, including clerical, maintenance and food services employees, have been without a contract since July.

Two weeks ago, CUPE Local 1858 shut down the facilities department at the university for three days and three weeks ago, classes were cancelled for two days due to the union's all-campus walkout. Both actions, done in conjunction with four other post-secondary institutions in the province, were to help the union achieve a new collective agreement.

"Only due to our commitment and solidarity were the bargaining committees, both provincially and locally, able to get what we set out to achieve for our members," said Deborah Hopper, president of CUPE Local 1858, in a press release.

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