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VANCOUVERCUPE 15, CUPE 391 and CUPE 1004 are disappointed that the City of Vancouver, Vancouver Public Library and Metro Vancouver Labour Relations Bureau chose to break off talks today.

The Vancouver Public Library has indicated that they will be seeking the services of a BC Labour Relations facilitator to assist with negotiations with CUPE 391.

The City has informed CUPE 15 and CUPE 1004 that they have sent a letter to the Minister of Labour requesting the appointment of a special provincial mediator under Section 76 of the BC Labour Code.

For weeks, the unions have been calling for a third party to assist in negotiations with either a facilitator, mediator or mutually agreed to private mediator. The special mediator the City has applied for means the union will have no say in the “terms of reference”, in other words who the mediator will be and whether or not the mediation will be binding.

Although the City and Library gave notice that they wished to lift the mutually agreed media blackout, the locals asked that the blackout remain in effect so that the parties could remain focussed on bargaining, however the City and Library flatly refused the request.

It is uncertain when facilitation will begin with the library workers or when mediated talks with Vancouver’s inside and outside workers will continue. CUPE will not be issuing any further comments to the media until next steps are clarified.

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