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Employer forces final offer vote on CUPE 15
City of Vancouver opts for strategy that failed overwhelmingly in Delta

VANCOUVER - The City of Vancouver ended a mediated bargaining session with CUPE 15 late July 9, 2007 by forcing a final offer vote on the union’s 2,500 members.     

This latest move by the employer, which echoes a final offer vote that was resoundingly defeated in Delta last week, comes on the eve of a formal hearing to settle the final remaining issues regarding essential services for City of Vancouver employees.     

The union local returned to the table this afternoon after being notified by the mediator that the employer had requested the meeting at the Labour Relations Board. The union’s skepticism about the meeting was confirmed when the amended offer included several of the concessions that were tabled initially, says CUPE 15 president Paul Faoro.     

“We suspect that the whole meeting request was engineered to delay our strike action,” says Faoro. “This was confirmed by the employer when they provided a completed application form for a final offer vote, with all supporting documents, less than five minutes after we left the meeting.”     

A final offer vote is being scheduled by the Labour Relations Board at the board’s discretion. The membership is in effect being forced to vote on the employer’s last proposal.     

“It’s important to remember that the employer used this strategy in Delta, and it failed when the offer was turned down overwhelmingly by the CUPE 454 membership,” adds CUPE 15’s chief negotiator Keith Graham. “And their offer was actually better than what was tabled here today.” 

The union is strongly recommending that its members reject the employer’s forced final offer. Meanwhile, CUPE 1004, which represents 2,000 Vancouver outside workers, will soon be in a legal position to strike. 

Contact:  Paul Faoro, CUPE 15 President: (604) 202-1829;
Keith Graham, CUPE 15 Chief Negotiator: (604) 879-4671