(Sydney) - Talks between CBRM and its outside workers virtually collapsed this afternoon, when negotiators for the municipality walked away from an offer that CUPE says would fix the main outstanding issue without costing one more penny.
CUPE National Representative John Evans says, “We are very disappointed with this development. We had resounding support from our members at a meeting last night, only to be met with stonewalling from this employer. They had no serious intent to bargain today. It was basically, my way or the highway,” says Evans.
“Even though they know there are three outstanding issues - the other two being wages and some adjustments to our lowest paid classifications - they said they were only prepared to talk about one issue – benefits. How is that attitude going to lead to a settlement?” asks Evans.
“CUPE put a comprehensive package before them that would resolve the benefits issue, while making a commitment to find savings in the plan, and directing some of those savings to classification adjustments. They weren’t the least bit interested in finding those savings,” he says.
Says Evans, “Our members are going to want to know why. I’m also fairly certain that CBRM taxpayers, the mayor and council are going to want to know why as well.”
“To add insult to injury, the employer re-tabled their final offer of April 18,” says Evans.
No new talks are planned. Local 759 members are in a legal strike position and must give 48 hours notice before taking any job action.
John Evans John McCracken
CUPE National Rep. CUPE Communications Representative
(902) 574-1070 (Cell) (902) 455-4180 (o)