Union workers in talks about essential services before strike can start

Over 100 UBC building employees voted unanimously in favour of taking strike action on September 8 after failing to reach a compromise with UBC on matters such as retroactive pay and scheduling concessions.

At the time, the university noted that they would likely request “an essential service designation from the Labour Relations Board,” meaning the employees would be legally mandated to come to work.

IUOE 882 — the union representing the heating and cooling system workers at UBC — has since served the university strike notice on September 15, but they now need to establish these essential services before they can legally begin to strike.

To this end, both UBC and the union met with the Labour Relations Board Monday morning to begin talks, and will meet again Thursday afternoon.

Then, the workers will need to serve another 72-hour legal notice before officially striking, should they choose to do so.