Bargaining Bulletin #32

Sept. 8, 2017

To: Executive, deans and other senior academic leaders, academic heads, directors and managers, senior professional leaders in Vancouver
Linda McKnight, Managing Director, Human Resources — Advisory Services
Cc: Human Resources
Re: Bargaining Bulletin #32 – IUOE 882 Strike Vote

Please be advised that the International Union of Operating Engineers, Local 882, took a strike vote yesterday, and we have heard through the media that the vote was in favour. There are 63 tradespeople in this union and they operate the heating and cooling systems of the university. Operating Engineers are considered an essential service to the university and we will therefore be negotiating the number of members that will be required to continue to work if they engage in strike activity.

A successful strike vote does not necessarily mean that there will be strike activity. The purpose of a strike vote is to give the union the mandate to do so should they feel it necessary. If this is the case, the union will provide the university with written 72-hour strike notice. Should the university be served with 72-hour strike notice, we will apply to the Labour Relations Board to negotiate essential service levels. Once essential service levels are in place and the required 72-hour strike notice has expired, the union is in the position to engage in strike activity.

UBC Human Resources will notify the community should strike notice be received and will provide further updates at

Although IUOE is a small union, if they picket a building it is probable that members from other UBC unions will refuse to cross their picket line. They are entitled to picket buildings in which they normally perform work. Please see the UBC policy on crossing picket lines at

The collective agreement between the university and IUOE expired on March 31, 2014, and the university has been bargaining with them since 2015. IUOE members have failed to ratify a new collective agreement on two occasions, one of which was with the assistance and recommendations of a mediator from the Labour Relations Board. Since that time, the university and the union have returned to the bargaining table but the parties have been unable to make progress. Although we have offered to engage with another mediator, IUOE has turned us down.

This is the only outstanding public sector negotiation left in the province. All other unions have new collective agreements in place, all of which were negotiated under the Provincial Government’s Economic Stability Mandate.

We will provide more information as events develop. Visit for updates.