City workers back talks with strike vote

A mediator has been called into handle contract negotiations between the city and its workers

  • Sep. 13, 2011 9:00 a.m.

A mediator has been called into handle contract negotiations between the city and its workers.

These workers have been without a contract since the end of 2009, and during the past week they voted 88.3 per cent in favour of strike action.

“We have now been to the negotiating table 10 times, twice with a mediator, but the City is still insisting on concessions,” said CUPE 401 Campbell River Unit president Blaine Gurrie in a news release.

The mediator has asked both sides not to discuss details of the concessions before the meeting, but Gurrie briefly mentioned changes to hours of work, and changes to recall language for hiring back employees after being laid-off as issues.

City of Campbell River general manager of corporate services Laura Ciarniello said that she doesn’t see job action happening, and called a strike vote “normal.”

“A strike vote is a normal part of the collective bargaining process,” said Ciarniello. “So it’s not unusual that the union would go to their members to get a mandate to make sure they’re going in the right direction and that they have the support of their members.”

However, Gurrie said he doesn’t like using the term “normal” when talking about a strike vote because it “diminishes the frustration of the members.” He also said that in the 38 bargaining agreements he has been involved in, only four strike votes were called, and that the vote means a strike is possible.

“Obviously it’s a possibility or we wouldn’t be doing it,” Gurrie added in an interview. “It’s certainly not probable yet, and it’s not our desire to see picket lines go up in Campbell River.”

The city and CUPE will meet again with a mediator on Sept. 22 and 23 to try to hammer out a deal.

Talks had been kept to a minimum until recently while CUPE gave the city time to deal with the Catalyst Paper situation.

Both sides said they are hopeful an agreement will be reached.

“We’re hopeful still,” said Gurrie. “Nobody takes a strike vote lightly, but we’re hopeful that the labour board, when they bring the mediator in, can help guide us to a settlement.”

Just Posted

Chinook fishery not ‘closed’ in area is message from guides

Conservative MP Calkins comes to Campbell River hear fishing stakeholders’ concerns

UPDATE: Fire crews suppress smouldering fire on Highway 19 north of Campbell River

Wildfire reached .25 hectares, according to BC Wildfire Service

Strathcona Regional District won’t cover director’s court costs

Case was concluded June 10, with lawyer saying clients were put up to launching petition

Intertidal walk looks at life on the reef in Campbell River

Biologist Sandra Milligan has been leading walks for 13 years

Residents welcomed to new Habitat for Humanity homes in Campbell River

New homeowners received keys during ceremony at affordable housing development

VIDEO: ‘Avengers: Endgame’ to be re-released with new footage

‘Avatar’ holds global box office record at $2.788 billion, while ‘Endgame’ stands at $2.743 billion…

B.C. teen killed by falling tree near Victoria

Second youth also injured in freak incident during field trip at Camp Barnard near Sooke

Elias Pettersson wins Calder Trophy as NHL’s top rookie

Vancouver forward first Canuck to win award since Pavel Bure in 1992

FVRD chair calls B.C. incineration plan for Philippines waste ‘disturbing’

Metro Vancouver ‘uniquely capable’ of safely disposing of waste coming back to Canada, say officials

VIDEO: Acknowledging skeptics, finance minister vows to build Trans Mountain project

Bill Morneau said he recognizes ‘huge amount of anxiety’ in Calgary over future of oil and gas sector

Shovels could be in the ground on Trans Mountain by September, CEO says

Ian Anderson points to weeks likely required for NEB to reinstate 2016 regulatory record

Scorpion gives birth after hitching ride in B.C. woman’s luggage

A Vancouver woman inadvertently brought the animal home from a trip to Cuba

RCMP allows officers to grow beards

Members can now wear beards and goatees, as long as they’re neatly groomed

Girl, 10, poisoned by carbon monoxide at B.C. campsite could soon return home

Lucille Beaurain died and daughter Micaela Walton, 10, was rushed to B.C. Children’s Hospital on May 18

Most Read