Talks break down between union and Capilano University; strategic job action to escalate

BURNABY – Bargaining between the Canadian Office and Professional Employees Union, Local 378 (MoveUP) and Capilano University broke down today over the university’s continued demands for concessions from their employees and the university’s inequitable treatment of university COPE staff compared to faculty. 

The university is insisting that the staff stay with an inferior benefits plan that was withdrawn from the table during negotiations with the Faculty Association. The Capilano Faculty Association not only got to keep a better plan; they received increases to their vision and hearing benefits.

The union made a concerted effort to show good faith and negotiate towards the employer’s position on a few key issues, such as layoff language. But the university insisted on further concessions from their staff in the areas of layoff, overtime provisions, contracting in to do bargaining unit work, and refusal to address benefit inequities. The university staff is rejecting these attacks on their wages and working conditions.

“I’m very disappointed in the lack of any kind of meaningful back and forth on the part of the university,” said union representative and negotiator Karen Rockwell. “That’s essential for bargaining. They seem to have no desire to work with us to find a fair, balanced and reasonable contract.”

The union’s members have already begun strike action, which includes a ban on overtime work. The strike action will escalate to a ban on working from home, and all IT infrastructure work is now considered struck. This means Capilano University’s eight on-site IT specialists will not be working.

No further talks are scheduled. The union’s bargaining committee will be consulting with the membership on next steps. MoveUP’s Capilano University members don’t want to inconvenience students so, at this point, will be focusing on strategic job action that will impact the employer.

MoveUP’s 326 members at Capilano University are lab technicians, academic advisors, financial services, trades people, early childhood educators in the childcare centre, IT specialists and more. They make the university work and deserve respect in bargaining.


Media contact:

Sage Aaron, Communications Director