Sudbury As negotiations between Sudburys municipal employees and the City enter their third week, the union is asking residents for support in fighting cuts to services and contracting out of work to the private sector.
We are in a fight for a fair contract without cuts to services, says Wyman MacKinnon, president of Local 4705 of the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE), representing 1500 municipal workers with the City of Greater Sudbury. We are doing our best to negotiate a collective agreement with the City and that means protecting jobs and services in our community.
When the mayor starts talking about early exit packages for long time employees, hes really talking about service cuts and getting rid of people so he can contract out services, charges Wyman, referring to comments made by Mayor Jim Gordon last week about eliminating positions by offering early retirement packages.
Services provided by city workers include garbage collection, transit, paramedics, parks and recreation, pools, community centres, planning, engineering, clerical and technical services, airport firefighting, sewage and water, libraries, roads, street cleaning, social services (welfare, workfare), daycares and every city service except City police and firefighting.
Our members have given us a strike mandate and we are prepared to withdraw our labour if thats what it takes to get a deal and save city services, says MacKinnon. City workers previously voted 92.5% in favour of strike action if a collective agreement cannot be reached. A strike by city workers would virtually shut down the city.
There are lots of problems with amalgamation, but politicians agreed to it and now were stuck with it, says MacKinnon. Were asking members of the public to call local politicians and tell them they cant gut services to achieve savings they promised through amalgamation. Tell them that contracting out is not an option we need to keep the accountability and service in our public services.
For further information, please contact:
Dennis Burke, CUPE National Representative, Sudbury Area Office
705-674-7557 - 705-674-7558
Wyman MacKinnon, President Local 4705
705-669-8526 (cell) - 705-560-4705
Robert Lamoureux, CUPE Communications