Type of entity
Authorized form of name
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Standardized form(s) of name according to other rules
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Dates of existence
In 1973 library and clerical workers on university and college campuses across British Columbia began organizing as a union in order to represent their collective interests. Workers at University of British Columbia (Local 1), Simon Fraser University (Local 2), Notre Dame University of Nelson (Local 3), Capilano College (Local 4), College of New Caledonia (Local 5), and the Teaching Support Staff at S.F.U. (Local 6) organized over the next two years to collectively form the provincial wide and independent union, the Association of University and College Employees (AUCE).
When the union formed over ninety percent of its members were women and one of their top concerns was equal pay for what was at the time considered “women’s work”. Over the next decade, they fought for wages to match the rising cost of living, transparent job classifications, maternity leave, childcare, and other employee benefits. They also demanded a discrimination free workplace for people of all genders, sexualities, races, and ethnicities.
The AUCE operated as a democratic union with an elected executive, and held yearly conventions to address the needs of its members. Each local chapter worked individually with their university to bargain for collective contracts for their members. The negotiations of changes in collective contracts between the university and the union members sometimes resulted in the workers going on strike until a collective agreement could be reached. In addition to contract negotiations, the AUCE also supported other union, labour, and human rights efforts, especially in response to the changing legislation and budget seen in the British Columbia government from the 1970’s to 1980’s.
For various reasons, including the increased resources and support offered by international and national unions, in 1985 a decision was made by the members to disband the AUCE. For the Local 1 workers on the University of British Columbia campus, this resulted in a two year trial affiliation with the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE). During this time the union members voted to call themselves the Canadian University Employees (CUE) in order to distinguish themselves from two other local CUPE chapters on campus. In 1987 the members voted to become a chartered local union of the CUPE, CUPE Local 2950. They are an operating local chapter today.