British Columbia

Strikes affect classes at 6 B.C. colleges

Classes are cancelled today at five post-secondary institutions around B.C. and another is behind picket lines as CUPE and BCGEU support staff demand new contracts.

Camosun, VIU, North Island, New Caledonia, Rockies and BCIT Aerospace campuses affected

Classes at all BCIT and VCC campuses were cancelled on Monday because of a one-day strikes by unionized staff and instructors. (CBC)

Classes are cancelled today at five post-secondary institutions around B.C. and another is behind picket lines as CUPE and BCGEU support staff demand new contracts.

Vancouver Island University, North Island College, College of New Caledonia, College of the Rockies and BCIT's Aerospace Technology Centre in Richmond have all called off classes today -- and possibly tomorrow -- as unionized workers strike to protest what they say is the provincial government's refusal to accept new collective agreements.

Two days of job action is also planned at both Camosun College campuses in Victoria, but that facility says class cancellations are up to each instructor, and a blanket closure is not in effect.

CUPE says its workers have been without a contract for more than two years and each college is willing to reach an acceptable deal, but the province is blocking the arrangements.

Most students at BCIT campuses around Metro Vancouver are back in class this morning following a one-day strike on Monday, but it's a different story for students at the institute's Aerospace Technology Centre in Richmond.

That facility is shut down for a second day as B.C. Government and Service Employees Union support staff demand a new contract.

The deal covering the 625 BCGEU support staff expired more than two years ago. The union says job action at the Sea Island campus began at 7 a.m. this morning and will continue for a full 24 hours.