VANCOUVER – After reviewing the City of Vancouver’s two non-negotiated offers over the weekend, CUPE 15’s bargaining committee hand-delivered a counter-offer to their employer at City Hall today at 9:30 a.m. The union is also calling on the City to return to the table immediately, either independently, with the assistance of a recognized facilitator/mediator or through the services of BC’s Labour Relations Board.
Neither of the City’s two offers address the primary issues the union has identified for the past year to be important and for that reason, do not form the basis for a settlement. However, CUPE 15 is pleased that the City has finally agreed that the regional wage and term (17.5 per cent over 5 years) first negotiated by CUPE in Richmond, will be extended to Vancouver’s inside workers.
“CUPE has negotiated 12 contracts with civic employers throughout the Lower Mainland in recent weeks,” says CUPE 15 President Paul Faoro. “These deals were reached because employers sat down with the union and in a respectful way addressed fundamental workplace issues, like necessary improvements for auxiliary workers who can work for years on end without benefits or scheduling certainty. The City of Vancouver needs to sit down with its workers and hammer out a negotiated settlement.”
CUPE 15’s counter-offer responds directly to the City of Vancouver’s first offer, which basically rolls-over the current collective agreement but includes the regional wage and term. The union’s counter-offer includes items negotiated within the regional settlement pattern, many which are naturally drawn from the Richmond deal, as it is the most comparable city to Vancouver in the Lower Mainland in terms of its size and Olympic commitments.
CUPE 15 has also offered the City of Vancouver an “Olympic Agreement” based on the agreement negotiated and ratified in Richmond. This agreement grants the employer the flexibility requested to bend the rules of the collective agreement and suspend certain provisions in order to respond to management’s increased staffing and other needs during the Olympics.
“Our counter-offer is fair and reasonable and within the mandate agreed to by other Lower Mainland employers,” says Faoro.
This spreadsheet document charts the details of recent Lower Mainland civic agreements reached along with CUPE 15’s counter-proposal.
CUPE 15 represents 2,400 striking Vancouver inside workers and has been on strike since Monday, July 23, 2007. Besides improvements for auxiliaries, CUPE 15’s other primary issues remain contract language to protect employees from the City’s expressed plans to contract out a number of jobs and departments, language that makes binding rulings on necessary job reclassifications (due to changing nature of work, duties, etc.), and language that secures a harassment-free workplace as well as protection for whistleblowers.
Paul Faoro, CUPE 15 president, 604-202-1829
Barry O’Neill, CUPE BC president, 604-340-6768
Diane Kalen, CUPE Communications, 778-229-0258