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Job action to begin at five largest universities in B.C.

The University of Victoria campus.

DON DENTON/The Canadian Press

The Canadian Union of Public Employees is setting up picket lines Thursday at B.C.'s five largest universities.

Members at UBC, Simon Fraser University, University of Northern B.C. and Thompson Rivers University issued 72-hour strike notice earlier this week, joining University of Victoria unionized workers who have been staging job action since Sept. 4.

Actions today at the five facilities range from overtime bans and pickets of select buildings, to a picket line aimed at shutting down the entire UNBC campus for about three hours Thursday afternoon.

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CUPE Local 951 president Doug Sprenger says his local at the University of Victoria has pledged not to affect classrooms or labs until at least mid-October, while a union spokeswoman at Thompson Rivers University says picket lines should come down by the end of Thursday.

She could not say what might happen on that campus, in Kamloops, Friday.

CUPE members have been without a contract for more than two years and say their main issues are wages, job security and inflation protection.

Editor's Note: A previous online version of this story incorrectly stated that teaching assistants would be on strike at UBC. This version has been corrected.

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