SFU childcare strike action likely after employer ends negotiations

SFU Childcare employer refuses to address outstanding issues in bargaining, walks away from table.

Vancouver (11 Dec. 2012) - Strike action will likely be taken at by members of the B.C. Government and Service Employees' Union (BCGEU/NUPGE) employed by the Simon Fraser University (SFU) Childcare after the employer walked away from the bargaining table on December 5.

Despite some bargaining progress with regard to language issues, it became apparent that the employer was unwilling to engage in productive talks focused on monetary and other key issues for SFU childcare workers.

The bargaining committee clearly outlined members’ priorities while remaining open and flexible to negotiating specifics. In fact, on the third day of bargaining, members tabled a comprehensive package twice. In addition to the proposals regarding modest wage increases and small benefit improvements, the outstanding issues still include:

  • Including Collective Agreement language detailing an employee’s right to take Compassionate Care Leave and Family Responsibility Leave. These are unpaid leaves that all employees are entitled to under the Employment Standards Act;
  • Discussion and agreement on a process for the scheduling of casual employees to cover absences due to sick leave (currently, the employer expects regular employees who are too sick to work to find their own replacement for their scheduled shift).

The employer’s counter-proposal did not address members' priorities, and they walked away from the table.

With the employer unwilling to discuss outstanding issues, members feel there is no choice except to initiate job action.

On November 14, SFU Childcare members voted overwhelmingly – with over 90 per cent support – to give the bargaining committee a strike mandate. The bargaining committee will be meeting over the next few weeks to plan possible job action.

For more information about what happens during job action, members are encouraged to review these Strike 101 resources available online at http://www.bcgeu.ca/Strikes_101.

NUPGE

The National Union of Public and General Employees (NUPGE) is one of Canada's largest labour organizations with over 340,000 members. Our mission is to improve the lives of working families and to build a stronger Canada by ensuring our common wealth is used for the common good. NUPGE

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