Bargaining Update, November 20th, 2019 CUPE3799

Not a lot to report today  from the lines today other than we had amazing reps from CUPE BC join us on  the lines today. Rolanda and Karen are both known to CUPE Local 3799 and it was awesome to have both of them on the lines at WIDC and UNBC main campus to meet, greet and talk with the members.

The Faculty Association and the Employer continued through negotiations today. There is only one concern that I can bring forward as the President of the Local. If you look at the bargaining update between the two parties you have the Faculty Association citing that they are ready to go the entire night through, and they continue to report that every bulletin. The University continues to drag things out. This is not an interpretation at this point, this comes from the employer’s own bulletin update today that “they need to be thorough and complete of every word in every proposal” . . . .  48 hours later, no response from the employer.  That tells me personally where the delay is – it’s not with the FA that are ready to go all day and all night – it’s with the employer that after 48 hours cannot compose a counter or an offer or a settlement deal back to the Faculty Association.

At this rate, if the employer makes any counter offer at all tomorrow and the FA respond immediately – we go into the weekend, as the employer requires at least 48 hours to reply.

This leaves everyone on the line again. Because the employer cannot respond in a timely manner. It’s been months now since the bargaining process even began. CUPE 3799 ratified an agreement, 2288 bargaining an entire new collective agreement –all the while the bargaining process was underway with the Faculty association. All three agreements were underway at the same time.

CUPE 3799 was constantly pressured by the employer throughout our bargaining process about timing and delay and there was little delay other than holidays (given time of year). days at most from one session to another – and we were bargaining in May and June. We came to agreement quite easily.

There is zero reason for the employer to take 48 hours to respond to a proposal.

Really simple example (as I am not new to dealing with PSEC when  it comes to costing). A banana costs so much. Guess what? The banana cost the same in June as it does today. Zero costing requirement.

Now we throw in a peach. Well, when it comes to a banana and a peach – it cost this much in June – what does it cost right now in November – again, it likely is going to cost the same amount.

Once you get the cost from PSec – you know the cost. Saying you have to go back to cost what has already been costed,  or to re-cost what was costed with the last package requires zero amount  of time. So this last window of time – 48 hours to cost what you have already costed is not an acceptable window of time for people going without pay.

This is becoming more and more common place with this round of bargaining and it’s time to make it stop. We need to address this non-action on the part of the administration.

The Board Of Governors, already scheduled to meet – cancelled. Why?? I believe they didn’t want the masses of workers behind picket lines coming in and speaking their peace.

What is it going to take to get this deal signed??

I think I can speak freely for those out on the picket lines. We don’t really care who’s right, who’s wrong. We want to see the parties decide that they cannot agree to some things and move on! Sign LOUs or MOUs and get this deal done.

While we posture back and forth between the two sides – we also have unions and students losing each and every day. This is just not acceptable. Students are very close to losing an entire semester, if it isn’t already lost the semester. Practicum placements are likely exceeded. Do either parties care? I know that CUPE 3799 members do care as those students are our students!! While we will always support our Faculty Association, we also care first and foremost about those students; that is our primary concern and our job. We love our students and we care about what this dispute is doing to our students.

Soap box put away for the night.

Important info, our meeting tomorrow – 7:00 p.m. at the House of Ancestors. Please refer to yesterday’s update for more info.

Picking up cheques:

The cheques for picket pay will be available on Friday, November 22nd. Our Sergeant-at-Arms, Debby Foster will be at the following locations to disperse the cheques:

  • WIDC at 7:30 – 9:00am
  • UNBC at 11:00am – 2:00pm
  • Starbucks (College Heights) at 2:30 – 3:30pm

Please remember to bring ID when picking up your cheque.

Note: Cheques must be picked up & signed for by the individual to whom the cheque is made out to. If you cannot sign the form, you cannot pick up the cheque. There will be no exceptions.

Respectfully & in solidarity,


Caroline Sewell


CUPE Local 3799

University of Northern

British Columbia


What have you done in your union to raise a member up? If not you, then who??