Vancouver Art Gallery Workers’ Strike Ends As Agreement Is Reached

The Vancouver Art Gallery.


The end has come for a nearly-week-long strike at the Vancouver Art Gallery in Canada. On Monday evening, the union CUPE Local 15 said it had reached an agreement with the museum in its ongoing negotiations over elements of a prior contract, which representatives said expired in June 2017. The union had urged workers to strike, claiming that some of the museum’s policies were unfair. In a statement sent out on Monday, however, union leaders said an agreement had been ratified and told workers at to return to their jobs on Tuesday morning.

“This whole experience has been beyond memorable and there aren’t enough words to express our gratitude for entrusting us with the process,” the union wrote in a statement. “We look forward to working alongside you all with a renewed sense of purpose and harmony.”

The union had previously raised objections over the workers’ previous contract with the Vancouver Art Gallery. Of chief concern were two policies: a system for wage increases and a so-called nine-day fortnight plan, which stipulates that workers can compress two weeks’ worth of hours into a nine-day span as opposed to the two weeks of a fortnight.

In response to the resolution, Kathleen S. Bartels, the director of the Vancouver Art Gallery, said, “The Vancouver Art Gallery has an incredibly talented, dedicated and passionate staff and we are so pleased that an amicable resolution was reached with CUPE 15, and we look forward to welcoming everyone back to the Gallery. We believe this four-year contract will keep the Gallery on a path of collaboration, stability and future growth.”

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