CUPE Local 37 has won its Labour Relations Board case against the Calgary Zoo Society after successfully arguing that the society and the City constitute a “common employer”. The Zoo Society argued that after 42 years of using city employees who belong to CUPE 37 at the zoo, the society should be able to terminate that arrangement and opt out of the collect agreement provisions.
In a decision released October 10, the Board found that the zoo and the City were common employers, and that the zoo could not proceed to replace union workers with others earning lower wages.
The City did not take a position in the hearing.
“This issue was about cutting wages and working conditions to employees who have worked at the zoo for years,” said CUPE 37 President Don Monroe. “The Society admitted as much at the hearing, and we’re grateful the board wouldn’t allow it.”
“As a common employer, the zoo has an obligation to respect the negotiated terms and conditions that have been agreed to over a relationship spanning four decades,” said Monroe.
Monroe says that now that the labour board decision is behind them he hopes the union, the zoo, and the City can concentrate on building their relationships and continuing to provide a world class zoo to the people of Calgary.