Coffee lovers amongst us have long lamented the inability to get a “barista-worthy” cup of Java at Vancouver Community College’s Broadway campus! Ever since March of 2014 (some say long before that) when the Employer closed the coffee in Building B, we have been suffering serious caffeine withdrawal! Then in September of 2015 the Employer visited the same fate on the Downtown campus with the closure of that campuses barista kiosk!
Many members have noted the lost opportunity and lost revenue without a coffee kiosk to fuel our relatively harmless and legally sanctioned dependence. Held captive in our place of work we have had to trek blocks in inclement weather and use our precious break times to secure a decent cup of Java in order to stave off full-blown withdrawal!
Long before Sodexo left your Union met with management du jour to remind them that food services is covered by the CUPE 4627 Union certification and that any and all staff hired to work there would have to be CUPE 4627 members. Nods of yes and agreement from management du jours. This is a position that we have reiterated repeatedly with subsequent management reincarnations!
However, we have recently discovered that Blenz is in the process of hiring and preparing to open a Blenz coffee shop in the Building B space. All of this without any consultation with your Union and, as is this management’s repeated modus operandi, in complete disregard and violation of our Collective Agreement.
Today we wrote to Blenz to introduce ourselves, inform them of the CA violation, and provide them with a copy of the grievance that we filed stating that CUPE 4627 food services is covered under our certification and this is our bargaining unit work. We suspect this may get messy and cost the college unnecessary expenditures once again at a time when we are in need of fiscal restraint. It continues to baffle many of us why a small number of our membership continue to defend this management in light of this continued disregard for our CA and the provinces labour laws.
We will keep you informed as this issue progresses and look forward to an open discussion at our next General Meeting where we invite all members to express their concerns and opinions.