UBC Temporarily Dodges TA Strike

by Stephen Petrina on April 12, 2012

The University of British Columbia’s application to the BC Labour Relations Board for a mediator in the stand-off with the graduate students’ union CUPE 2278 was granted.  LRB Mediator Mark Atkinson will convene CUPE 2278 and the University to the bargaining table in early May.  Atkinson was a staff representative with the Hospital Employees’ Union from 1981 to 1995, and has served as Mediator in the LRB from 1995-2004, and 2008-present. In the meantime, CUPE 2278’s strike position will remain  but the union cannot strike during this interim period leading to mediation. And in the meantime, the University will fall back on an excuse that the graduate teaching assistants are net zero workers, underserving of an increase in their pay cheques.  Again, here we are like the case of the BC Teachers’ Federation and the government’s sentiment: ‘Let them negotiate, let them bargain,’ as long as they remain net zero workers.

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