At least two days of job action are expected to affect business at College of New Caledonia.
The Canadian Union of Public Employees local 4951, representing support staff at CNC, will join the more than 3,000 workers at six B.C. colleges setting up picket lines beginning at 6 a.m. Tuesday.
The job action is likely to last until Wednesday at 11 p.m. and the college is extending its fee payment deadline until Friday at 4 p.m. to compensate for the two-day closure.
"All college courses, programs and services at all six CNC campuses, with the exception of essential services such as power plants, will be suspended all day and night Tuesday and Wednesday," said Randall Heidt, CNC director of communications and development. The closures also include Continuing Education courses, gym rentals and daycare services, but not the Employment Services Centre at the Mackenzie campus.
While the college is hopeful operations will return to normal on Thursday, Heidt encouraged everyone to check the school's website at www.cnc.bc.ca, for updates.
The union issued a 72-hour strike notice Friday, following a breakdown in negotiations with school management and ultimately the provincial government. The members of local 4951 have been without a contract since June 2010, with wage increases and inflation protection among the main sticking points.
Through the B.C. government's co-operative gains mandate, public sector employers must fund wage increases through savings found in their operating budgets.
"The only reason we don't have a deal is because the B.C. Liberals have dropped the ball," CUPE's B.C. colleges co-ordinator Ian McLean has said. "We remain committed to negotiating a fair and reasonable contract, and our door is always open, but this government's interference in collective bargaining has pushed us to the point where our only alternative is job action."