OTTAWA The union representing 140 workers at OC Transpo is recommending to its membership that they reject their employers latest contract offer in a vote that will be held on Monday, May 26th. CUPE Local 5500 represents transit supervisors, transit law enforcement officers, and fleet services supervisors at OC Transpo.
We cannot in good conscience recommend this offer to our members, said Barry Spratt, president of Local 5500. The employer has deep concessions on the table. In particular they are trying to erode sick leave benefits. They seem determined to drive our benefits downwards following the amalgamation of OC Transpo with the city of Ottawa this is their idea of harmonization. Their wage offer is also less than what was recently offered to bus drivers, and this is not acceptable.
Our members have been working without a new contract since March, 2002, said Bev Smale, CUPE National Representative. Weve shown good faith here, and the employer is still dragging its feet, making offers that fall short of where we need to be to avoid a labour disruption. Its time for OC Transpo to show some respect for its workforce, and come back to the table with an offer that is fair.
Mondays vote on the latest offer will also serve as a strike vote. Workers at OC Transpo may be in a legal strike or lockout position as early as June 21st. Currently no further dates are scheduled for negotiations.
For further information, please contact:
Bev Smale, CUPE National Representative, (613) 859-3137 (cell)
Barry Spratt, President, CUPE Local 5500, 613 724 7888 (cell)
Andrea Addario, CUPE Communications, (416) 292-3999, ext. 240