Capilano University & COPE Support Staff Bargaining

      • Update: July 28, 2015; 10 am

        Capilano University & COPE ratify agreement

        We are happy to report that Capilano University and the Canadian Office & Professional Employees Union (COPE) ratified an agreement negotiated under the Economic Stability Mandate.

        The board of the Post-Secondary Employers’ Association (PSEA) provided final ratification of the five-year settlement on Friday, July 24.

        The new collective agreement is in effect from April 1, 2014 to March 31, 2019 and covers more than 400 Capilano University support staff, including those in IT and administration roles.

        Update: July 10, 2015; 10 am

        Capilano University & COPE reach tentative agreement

        The University is pleased to announce that it reached a tentative agreement with the Canadian Office & Professional Employees Union (COPE) yesterday, July 9.  The tentative settlement is consistent with the Economic Stability Mandate. 

        Upon reaching the tentative agreement, COPE ceased all strike action. Employees are expected to return back to work today, Friday, July 10. 

        Next Steps

        The parties will now schedule dates for ratification of the tentative agreement. 

        The University’s Bargaining Committee extends its sincere thanks to the entire campus community for collectively minimizing strike action impacts on students and other stakeholders.

        Update: July 7, 2015; 2 pm

        Today, July 7, 2015, the Canadian Office & Professional Employees Union (COPE) withdrew the services of all 37 Registrar's Office employees.

        The priority registration period began yesterday and is scheduled to run until July 17 for an anticipated 7,000 students. Ongoing registration will continue until the beginning of the September 2015 term.

        The University is taking all steps to ensure to the best of its ability that students register for courses without issue. 

        On June 29, the last mediation date, the parties agreed to continue mediation with the Labour Relations Board’s (LRB) assistance. The two parties will meet tomorrow, July 8, at the LRB. 

        Update: June 30, 2015; 2 pm

        At their meeting with the mediator on June 29, the University and the Canadian Office & Professional Employees Union (COPE) agreed to meet again at 1 pm on Wednesday, July 8 at the Labour Relations Board (LRB).

        During the July 8 meeting, the Post-Secondary Employers’ Association (PSEA) will make a presentation on the 2014 Economic Stability Mandate, which applies to all public sector employers in B.C. with unionized employees whose collective agreements expire on or after December 31, 2013.

        Update: June 29, 2015; noon

        On June 22 the University sent a letter inviting COPE to resume negotiations, proposing the parties establish a working committee to brainstorm alternative options and ideas within the mandate. COPE accepted the invitation.

        The parties have agreed to continue talks with mediator Grant McArthur. The first meeting is scheduled for today, Monday, June 29 and Tuesday, June 30. The parties will schedule additional dates as necessary.

        The University also requested a meeting with COPE to prevent any issues regarding the use of contractors contrary to the Labour Relations Code. The parties have agreed to discuss this at their meeting today, Monday, June 29.

        Update: June 23, 2015; 4 pm

        On Monday, June 22 the University issued a letter to COPE’s chief negotiator, requesting that the two parties resume bargaining discussions as soon as possible. 

        In an effort to resolve the challenges preventing the parties from reaching an agreement, the University proposed that the parties establish a working committee that would explore options for solving the outstanding issues.

        The University has not yet received a response from COPE, but remains committed to working with the union to achieve a settlement.

        Update: June 9, 2015; 5:30 pm

        At approximately 5 pm on Tuesday, June 9 COPE erected pickets and began distributing information leaflets outside Capilano University’s Sportsplex.  At this time, COPE has advised us that it is picketing the Sportsplex for the Explore Capilano event only.

        Given this disruption, the University has cancelled its Explore Capilano event, being held at the Sportplex beginning at 6pm on June 9. Exempt staff will be on-site to advise potential Explore event attendees about the cancellation and ensure that guests to campus do not pay for parking.

        We will provide updates as more information becomes available.

        Update: June 8, 2015; 1 pm

        COPE has taken job action in the form of an overtime ban and the withdrawal of IT infrastructure services. This activity is not expected to impact students. 

        All classes, activities and events at the University continue, as scheduled.  

        Should any form of COPE job action impact students and services, the University will consider ways to minimize the possible disruption and inconvenience.

        We will post updates on this page as soon as they become available. Students will also receive the latest developments directly via their CapU email, and we will share information on the University’s official Facebook and Twitter channels. 

        Update: June 5, 2015; 4 pm

        Today, at the last scheduled mediation date, the University provided COPE a package to resolve all outstanding issues and conclude bargaining.

        A key modification to the University’s package settlement included an improvement in the extended health plan.

        The University’s offer to staff included:

        • a 5.5% wage increase over a five year term, from April 1, 2014 to March 31, 2019;
        • a 50/50 cost share on drugs not covered by the BC PharmaCare Formulary(presently such drugs are 100% employee paid); and
        • a $200 increase in each employee's Extended Health Care Spending Account, effective January 1, 2016, with an additional $75 increase on January 1, 2018.

        COPE rejected the offer.

        COPE job action

        On June 4 at 2:36 p.m., COPE implemented an overtime ban, meaning that support staff employees are prohibited from working any overtime until further notice.

        On June 4 at 3 p.m., COPE withdrew the services of the IT Infrastructure team until further notice.

        Next steps

        The University remains committed to negotiations and is hopeful that an agreement can be reached.

        We will issue bulletin updates if there are any changes to COPE's job action. We will also communicate the latest developments on this web page, as well as through Twitter and Facebook.

        Update: June 5, 2015

        The two parties are meeting today, with the assistance of a mediator. We will update this page as more information becomes available.

        Update: June 3, 2015

        Capilano University is currently in negotiations with COPE, the union which represents support staff. On June 1st, COPE gave the University 72-hour strike notice and advised that a staff  overtime ban will take effect at 2:36 pm on Thursday, June 4.

        This job action taken by COPE is not expected to impact students currently enrolled in summer classes. At present, all classes and events at the University will continue, as scheduled.

        The University’s primary goal is to prevent and/or minimize disruption to current and prospective students. The University is considering scenarios and preparing solutions to minimize the possible impact of any COPE job action on students and services.

        The Capilano University’s website is the definitive and official source of accurate information about any COPE job action at the University. Information will also be provided to students through their CapU email and the University’s social media channels, including Facebook and Twitter.


        The University is currently engaged in collective agreement negotiations with COPE, the support staff union. The negotiations started the first week of March 2015. The current collective agreement runs July 1, 2010 to June 30, 2014. Under the Labour Relations Code, the provisions of this collective agreement continue until the parties reach a new collective agreement, or there is a strike or lockout. 

        During the bargaining process process, both parties will put forward recommendations to amend the collective agreement. Once a settlement is reached, both parties will vote on the changes. Once approved, the changes will come into effect on the parties' agreed dates. 

        Bargaining Bulletins

        Capilano Package Proposal

        COPE Withdrawal - Unfair Labour Practice 

        Latest University Communications

        University Letter to COPE - Invitation for Committee - June 22 (PDF)
        Email to Students: June 3, 2015 (PDF updated with correction)

        Meet Your Bargaining Committee

        The representatives at the bargaining table are: 

        Capilano University

        • Parveen Mann, HR Director 
        • Karen McCredie, Registrar 
        • Grace Makarewicz, University Librarian 
        • Barbara Ottley, HR Manager 
        • Julie Ogawa, Sr. HR Advisor 


        • Karen Rockwell, Union Representative COPE 378 
        • Eric Roberts, IT Services 
        • Todd Nickel, The Capilano Review 
        • Brenda Rovner, Financial Services 
        • Brenda Myers, Marketing & Communications 

        Questions & Answers 

      • General
      • What is job action?

        Job action refers to action taken by a union and its membership as part of a labour dispute (e.g. refusing to work overtime).

        What is strike action?

        Strike action can take different forms including:

        • work to rule -  staff will only perform necessary duties and no voluntary duties
        • rotating strike - staff will strike at different locations or only in some departments/programs
        • full-scale strike - staff will completely withdraw services and establish a picket line

        What is the University’s Offer to COPE?

        The University’s Offer to COPE includes: 

        • a 5.5% wage increase between April 1, 2015 to March 31, 2019:
        • provisions for student training opportunities and work experience. 
          • This is to ensure graduating Cap students have the breadth of opportunities provided at other post-secondary institutions. This work is over and above the work performed by staff employees.

        If the collective agreement expired on June 30, 2014, why did the parties start negotiations in March, 2015?

        Both parties needed time to prepare for the current round of bargaining. As well, it took some time for the University to receive approval to commence bargaining from the Post-Secondary Employers' Association (PSEA). PSEA is the employer bargaining agent for all public colleges, special-purpose teaching universities and institutes in B.C.

        I'd like to know how bargaining is going. What kind of information can I expect and how will I get that information?

        Capilano University respects the bargaining process and the role of COPE as the bargaining agent. The University is committed to ensuring that accurate and timely information is available to the campus community. Visit this page for the latest information on the bargaining process as well as up-to-date bargaining bulletins.

        How long will bargaining take?

        The parties are committed to fulsome discussion of each proposal. The University hopes to reach an agreement as efficiently as possible.

      • How will the current job action, an overtime ban, affect students?

        The current job action is not expected to impact students.

        Should the situation change,  students will receive information about any potential impact directly via their CapU email address.

        Information about COPE strike action will be posted on our homepage as it becomes available. Updates will also be posted on Twitter and Facebook.

        I am on exchange abroad now - how will I get assistance from Capilano University if I need it?

        The Centre for International Experience (CIE) will continue to operate during any form of job action. 

        Please contact the CIE office at or call 604.990.7914 for assistance.

        I am an exchange student studying at Capilano University. In the event of escalating job action, will Capilano University explain the situation to my home university?

        The Centre for International Experience (CIE) will be in contact with all universities who have exchange students at Capilano University to advise them of the current situation. We will continue to update these partner universities as information becomes available. 

        Please contact the CIE office at or call 604.990.7914 for assistance.

        Could full-scale strike action affect study and work permits for international students?

        No. If a strike occurs, work permits and student visas will not be affected. 

        These immigration documents remain valid and the regulations governing them stay in effect, regardless of any impact that strike action may have on students' ability to attend classes.

        Will I be able to get a transcript and Confirmation of Enrolment for study permit renewals?

        Yes. Transcripts and Confirmation of Enrolment are issued by the Registrar's Office. In the case of COPE strike action, administrative and student services will continue to the best of the University's ability. The Registrar's Office will do its best to issue the necessary documents to students, but delays can be expected.

        I am planning on studying at Capilano University in the fall as an international student. Will I still be able to get all the necessary documents from Capilano University?

        Yes. In the case of COPE strike action, administrative and student services will continue to the best of the University's ability. The Registrar's Office will do its best to issue the necessary documents to students, but delays can be expected. 

        If you have not yet received your letter of acceptance, please first login to Student Online Services for your application status.