NELSON Bargaining representatives for Nelsons city workers are recommending their members vote no to a final offer vote demanded by the city. Negotiations broke down almost three weeks ago over the issue of protecting jobs and services in the community. The vote is expected to take place on Friday, May 28, 2004 from 11:00am to 2:00pm at 310 Ward Street.
We have given the city everything they have asked for, including sick leave reductions and a decrease in the minimum staffing level by four employees saving the city $1.2 million, says Bev Lapointe, CUPE 339 President. You cant get more helpful then that.
What we wont agree to is opening up the door for the city to close the positions of the 21 city workers that will be retiring in the next 5 years. These jobs belong to the community.
Nelson is a town in need of good jobs and the maintenance of quality public services, Lapointe explains. While our jobs may be protected, it is only for the term of the agreement. It is our responsibility to make sure that future jobs dont disappear and that city services are not cut to the core.
The city wants to take away contract language that guarantees minimum staffing levels at 69 employees. Sixty-nine is the flood-gate holding back the city of Nelson from losing its quality public services. A city worker less than that and our services are in a crisis.
Once these jobs are gone, they are gone forever. For future generations we plan to say no to the citys final offer.
In the interests of providing job opportunities for youth, the union offered to introduce contract language allowing for two summer students. The city has turned down their offer.
This is not about wages. Its about protecting good jobs and quality public services.
The contract expired on December 31, 2003.
CUPE 339 represents the city of Nelsons 74 city workers who provide quality public service such as garbage pickup, snow removal, road repair and maintenance, sewage treatment, park maintenance and city finances.
Bev Lapointe, President, CUPE Local 339 (250)359-2996
Diane Kalen, CUPE Communications, (778)229-0258