Campus workers at UNBC are calling for better wages as they are among the lowest paid in the region according to CUPE 3799.
Currently, cleaning services at the Prince George campus and the four regional campuses are contracted out to Sodexo – a multinational corporation.
According to the union, the France-based company employs over 400,000 workers in 80 countries and recorded over $700 million in profits last year.
“UNBC prides itself of being Canada’s best small university, but these campus workers are struggling to get by. Campus cleaners are some of the lowest-paid workers in the North. They deserve better,” said Tamara Sweet, Vice-president of CUPE 3799, representing over 400 UNBC support staff.
“The University should bring these services in-house, employ cleaners directly like other staff, and treat them with fairness and respect.”
The union also stated campus workers receive no benefits, have little job security, an poor working conditions.
“Contracted-out workers in post-secondary institutions make $8,000 to $10,000 less a year than those directly employed. And the people working in these positions are more likely to be Indigenous, Black, or racialized, and more likely to be newcomers to Canada,” said Sweet.
“We are a small, tight-knit campus community. It’s what draws students, faculty, and staff to UNBC. But the cleaning staff we all depend on every day are being left behind.”