Last updated: October 16, 2012 8:19 pm
UBC and CUPE 116 to have new mediator at the bargaining table
VANCOUVER (CUP) — When CUPE 116 and UBC go back to the bargaining table on Oct. 19, they’ll be joined by a man widely considered the premier labour mediator in Canada.
The university announced today that they agreed to work with Vince Ready, an arbitrator who has received wide acclaim in his 30 years on the job mediating over 7,000 labour disputes.
“When there’s an out-of-control labour dispute, Vince Ready more often than not is the superman who steps in and saves the day,” read a Vancouver Sun profile in 2007, around the time Ready received the W.P. Kelly Award for lifetime achievement from the federal government.
Using a different mediator would be “like hiring someone you know is the third-best cardiac surgeon for your heart transplant,” UBC business professor Mark Thompson told the Sun.
UBC said they chose Ready for the new round of negotiations because the mediator they had been using, Mark Atkinson of the Labor Relations Board, was unavailable.
Costs for Ready will be split evenly between CUPE 116 and UBC, said director of UBC Public Affairs Lucie McNeill.
“Vince Ready has an amazing record as a mediator in the province and both on the employer side, but I have to say … on the union side as well,” McNeill said.
Ready, now nearing 70 years old, first took a union job in 1966 as an organizer for the International Union of Mine, Mill and Smelters Workers. From 1978 to 1982, Ready worked as a mediation officer for federal and provincial governments before setting up an independent business.
Thompson said Ready’s past work for both unions and the government allows him to understand both sides of labour disputes.
“[We were] very eager to be there when [CUPE 116] was ready,” McNeill said.