11/20/2012 12:02 EST | Updated 01/20/2013 05:12 EST

Labour strife shuts down several college campuses across B.C.

VANCOUVER - Four B.C. post-secondary facilities have suspended classes and a fifth is behind picket lines, offering only basic services, as unionized support staff begin what is expected to be a two-day walkout.

The job action by CUPE support staff has prompted cancellation of all classes at Vancouver Island University campuses, as well as closure of all campuses of North Island College, College of New Caledonia and the College of the Rockies.

Camosun College says its two Victoria-area campuses are open and the library is offering study space, but many classes have been cancelled at the discretion of individual instructors.

Students at that facility are advised to check their instructor's website for further information.

Meanwhile, picketing BCGEU support staff at the B.C. Institute of Technology's aerospace campus have surrounded that Richmond facility to back contract demands.

Members of both unions say they have been without a contract for more than two years and they accuse the provincial government of blocking efforts to reach a fair and reasonable settlement.