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Food service workers at Education Centre threaten strike

'This strike vote sends a message to Compass and the University administration that we are united and that we’re unwavering in our call for wage parity,' said Russell
20190830 nipissing canadore education centre entrance sign turl
The Education Centre. Jeff Turl/BayToday.

Food service workers at North Bay’s Nipissing and Canadore College have voted overwhelmingly in favour of a strike after seeing no movement on the issue of wage parity, says a news release from CUPE.

The workers are members of CUPE Local 1165 Unit 7,

“The contractor, Compass, pays food service workers at both Laurentian University and Trent University up to 21.4 per cent more for the same work,” said Trevor Russell, President of Local 1165. “That just doesn’t make sense to me and the rest of the members who’ve been working hard to deliver this critical service on campus. The fact is that Compass has the money to pay us equally and we deserve it.”

Out of 41 bargaining unit members, 32 took part in the vote, with 97 per cent voting in favour. The vote does not necessarily mean there will be a strike.

“It’s not just the right thing to do given that the cost of living isn’t any different for us as it is for workers at Laurentian and Trent. Equalizing pay is also a really important way to retain experienced staff, and the members know that,” said Russell.

The next bargaining date is February 2.