Local 23 President Simon Challenger said the union had no choice but to take the strike vote after negotiations with the City of Burnaby and the Burnaby Library, broke off on July 28th.
The employer came to the table on July 28th with virtually the same offer they brought forward on April 25th. They actually went backwards on some issues, Challenger said. The Local 23 President said the union had gone into bargaining in good faith and had negotiated its own proposals seriously. We expected serious and respectful bargaining from the employer and we didnt get it, he said.
Burnaby Municipal and the Burnaby Library are represented in negotiations by the Greater Vancouver Regional District (GVRD) Labour Relations Bureau. The employer has said that the GVRD doesnt control them and that they can move on issues. We see no sign of that, Challenger said.
The Local 23 President said he hoped the high vote in favour of strike action would convince Burnaby that its employees were serious about getting a fair contract. He urged Burnaby and its bargaining agent the GVRD to return to the table with a meaningful offer. No decision has been taken yet about when the 72-hour strike notice will be given.
CUPE Local 23 represents 2,000 Burnaby municipal inside workers, outside workers, and foremen as well as library workers. The city employees work in areas such as street sweeping, parks, recreation, services to seniors, permits and inspections. Local 23 is a member of Bargaining 2000, which represents a number of CUPE municipal Locals in the Lower Mainland.
For further information contact Simon Challenger: (604) 298-0200