CUPE and LFA reach deal with Langara College

Langara Faculty Association president Lynn Carter
Langara Faculty Association president Lynn Carter. Voice file photo

Langara College has reached a deal with unions representing faculty and staff.

After several months of bargaining, the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE), which represents Langara staff, has finally reached a tentative agreement with the college.

CUPE 15 president Paul Faoro said to The Voice that an agreement has been made as of March 5, although he could not discuss the details yet.

“We’re very pleased that if the agreement is ratified by both parties we will have some labour stability at Langara College,” he said, “which is good for everyone.”

CUPE representatives have met with the college “about a dozen times” since last November to discuss compensation, job security, benefit packages and workplace language.

Details of the final agreement will be released to the public after they’re discussed with CUPE members. A meeting with members is likely to take place between March 11 and 15, said Faoro, a week after he announced the final agreement.

During this time, members will vote whether or not to have it ratified.

Vancouver Community College also recently settled a contract with their employers, according to Faoro, who also said CUPE was “negotiating under tough, tough times due to the provincial’s government mandate.”

Faoro referred to the 2012 Cooperative Gains Mandate, which allows wage negotiation between employers and employees as long as “productivity increases” without spending over the employers current budget, according to the federal government’s website.

“We were somewhat limited on our ability to negotiate freely because our hands were surely tied by the provincial government,” he said.

LFA reaches deal

CUPE representatives weren’t the only ones negotiating with the college over the past several months; the Langara Faculty Association (LFA) was as well.

LFA president Lynn Carter said the association reached an agreement with the college as well, anchored around a four percent wage increase and clauses on an “understanding of a respectful workplace” and “harassment language”. According to Carter, it was ratified based on a faculty vote that took place on March 5.

Because of CUPE’s agreement with the school, the strike vote scheduled for March 5 was cancelled.

CUPE 15 represents over 5,500 workers and 17 employers in Vancouver, including workers at Emily Carr University of Art and Design and the Vancouver School Board.

Reported by Kayla Isomura

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