Okanagan University College faces job action

The BCGEU announced today that Okanagan University College will join rotating strike action, with picket lines being set up at campuses on Tuesday to support the union’s attempt to negotiate a fair settlement for its members.

Kelowna (24 Jan 2005) - The B.C. Government and Service Employees’ Union announced today that Okanagan University College will join rotating strike action, with picket lines being set up at campuses on Tuesday to support the union’s attempt to negotiate a fair settlement for its members.

"Our members have already taken five zeros in the last seven years, and only 4.4 percent in the other two," said BCGEU President George Heyman. "Meanwhile, the government is sitting on a $2 billion surplus, and college administrators are enjoying wage increases of up to 40 percent.

"It is time for the provincial government to acknowledge that our members have already had their wages frozen for five years, and have seen their real incomes fall by 7 percent in that time. They deserve a fair wage offer that at least allows them to keep up with inflation."

Heyman pointed to Financial Information Act documents showing a clear trend toward double-digit wage increases for college administrators across the province. Topping the list is Bob McKenzie, Executive Director of Administrative Services at BCIT, who received a 40 percent pay raise over two years, with an annual salary of $112,753. For a current list of college administrator salaries, check the union website at www.bcgeu.ca.

"We are applying the same financial microscope to Okanagan University College as other institutions," said Heyman. "Our members deserve the same opportunity to negotiate a fair wage settlement as college administrators."

The union is seeking a seven per cent pay boost in a new four year agreement, and parity measures to give support staff the same access to benefits that are already enjoyed by college instructors.

The BCGEU represents more than 500 support workers at Okanagan University College, with campuses in Kelowna, Salmon Arm, Vernon and Penticton.
 

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