The union representing staff at TRU is seeking ways to compensate members paying double-diglt increases for the right to park on campus.
Lois Rugg, president of the Canadian Union of Public Employees local at the university, said the recent parking increase in the current budget is a hardship for support staff.
“In many cases it’s a one per cent reduction in salary at least,” Rugg said. “In other cases it’s more.”
Staff, students and faculty now pay $650 a year for parking, something that is slated to increase by another 20 per cent next year.
Concern over costs of parking for support staff comes as the union bargains with the university for a new contract. Parking is not in the current contract.
While Rugg declined to say whether the union is bargaining to have it in a new deal, CUPE has already asked the board of governors to look at ways to shield staff, including a “progressive” system that would increase rates less depending on salary.
Those requests were declined.
University spokesman Christopher Seguin said TRU “normalized” its parking rates so they are in line with other universities. He declined to comment on bargaining and whether the union is seeking to offset parking increases in its new contract.
Rugg said the union recognizes environmental benefits of fewer cars on campus but said many staff cannot take the bus.
“It’s a huge issue for us,” she said. “We’ve really been trying to push this with the employer.”
The union has scheduled new talks in its bid to gain wage increases for members. It has also implemented an overtime ban on its members.
Rugg said that ban would mainly apply to staff working in technical or marketing positions.