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Classes for 4,300 students still cancelled as CapU support workers strike for second week

Remote work is the only issue in dispute

A strike by unionized support staff at Capilano University that has cancelled classes for about 4,300 students at North Vancouver and Sechelt campuses is heading into its second week.

MoveUp Local 378 members, who include those working in IT, child care, and maintenance, among other support staff at the university, have been on strike since June 6.

Members of the Capilano Faculty Association, which represents teaching staff, have refused to cross the picket lines.

Both the union and the university say the sole sticking point in the labour dispute is whether to include language about remote work in the union’s contract.

The university and workers represented by MoveUp have already agreed on a 12-13 per cent wage increase over a three-year term, as mandated by the province for public sector workers.

The union wants agreements about working from home to be included in the contract, describing that as an “equity issue,” especially for women juggling family responsibilities and long commutes.

The university says hybrid work arrangements have been in place since September of 2021. But CapU says adding that to the contract would be inconsistent with what other post-secondary institutions have agreed to and “has the potential to compromise service delivery at the university.”

Despite the strike, convocation ceremonies went ahead as planned June 7-9.

However, a number of community events that had been booked for venues at the university have had to be rescheduled or cancelled at the last minute.

Among them, year-end performances for about 300 North Shore dance students with Perform Art Studios had to be hurriedly rescheduled after the strike meant the Blueshore Performing Arts Theatre was unavailable.

A quilt show planned by the Lions Gate Quilters Guild at the university's Centre for Sport and Wellness has also been cancelled as a result of the strike.

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