CapU students head back to class as striking workers enter mediation

Click to play video: 'Classes to resume at Capilano University'
Classes to resume at Capilano University
Striking Capilano University support workers say they will allow classes to resume. The workers at three campuses have been off the job since June 6 and students have been out of class for three weeks. – Jun 28, 2023

Good news for students at North Vancouver’s Capilano University, where a support worker strike has halted classes for weeks.

MoveUP local 378, the union representing about 350 striking workers, said Wednesday it was heading to mediation with the college, and was offering a “picket pass” to faculty and students.

The union started job action in May, but the situation reached a boiling point on June 6 when the Capilano Faculty Association joined the strike in solidarity, halting classes.

That prompted a petition from frustrated students urging a suspension of the strike and for both sides to work out a deal in a way that didn’t affect learning.

In a media release, the union said the picket pass came from its “desire to reduce the impact on students so they can get back to school.”

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Faculty are expected to return to work on Thursday, the union said.

Click to play video: 'Capilano University students launch petition to end strike'
Capilano University students launch petition to end strike

Support workers will enter the mediation process but will continue to picket the school’s three campuses, it added.

“In order to reach a deal with our members, the employer needs to respect this mediation process and fully commit their attention to getting this deal done,” MoveUP vice-president Christy Slusarenko said.

“We are ready at any time to get to a deal. We hope the employer shares that same determination.”

The two sides have largely agreed to terms, with union saying the remaining key sticking point was the addition of remote work into the it’s collective agreement.

In a statement last week, the university told Global News the two sides remained at loggerheads over a return to work protocol, with the union demanding the school cover backpay for striking workers during the job action.

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Click to play video: 'MoveUp strike action cancels classes at Capilano University'
MoveUp strike action cancels classes at Capilano University

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