VANCOUVER - The Canadian Union of Public Employees is setting up picket lines today 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 this afternoon.

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 the day.

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

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

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