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HAMILTON, ON – City of Hamilton workers, represented by the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE), delivered an 84 per cent strike mandate this evening, to support efforts to achieve a fair contract for nearly 3,000 front-line municipal employees.

Our members have spoken and we are sending a strong message to management that we want a fair contract,” said Derron Vernon, president of CUPE 5167. “It is time for management to negotiate equitably, with a goal to achieve a contract that respects all municipal workers.”

Vernon was referring to an inferior contract proposal, offered to CUPE 5167 members, that is vastly different from a recent settlement achieved by the city with other municipal employees, as recently as January of this year.

We are proud of our work, and like other municipal staff, we work hard for the residents of our community,” continued Vernon.  “We work for the same employer, serving the same residents, and we should not be treated any differently.”

In addition to the unfair proposal, management sent details of the offer directly to members of Local 5167, breaking the conventional rules of engagement with union members.  “Our members are not happy that management went behind the backs of their union representatives,” stressed Vernon.  “High voter turnout and a strong strike mandate send a clear message to management to stop playing games and negotiate a fair deal, so we can go back to focusing on providing vital services to Hamiltonians.”

To help reach a fair and equitable settlement, CUPE 5167 proposed ways to contract in services to reduce costs, improve service and increase productivity.  “We have been open and upfront with management, making suggestions that would save money, while boosting morale and increasing productivity,” said Vernon.  “It is now up to management to come back and negotiate a deal that is fair to all.”  Conciliation talks resume on Tuesday, May 24. The workers’ last contract expired on December 31, 2010.

For more information, please contact:

Derron Vernon  
President CUPE 5167 
905-517-0448 (cell)
Fred Ho      
CUPE National Representative 
416-988-0442 (cell)

  James Chai  
CUPE Communications