BELLEVILLE, Ont. – The union representing Belleville’s municipal workers wants residents to tell their councilors to make sure bargaining continues in good faith, said Scott Whiteman, Vice-President of the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) 907.
“We strongly urge residents to call their Councillors and tell them to keep things cool in Belleville by voting on Monday to keep talks going,” Whiteman said on the steps of City Hall today. “Let’s put the war of words aside and get back to the table.”
Council will vote on Monday whether to file for a “no board” through the Ministry of Labour. A “no board” would indicate that the City believes that a settlement can’t be reached, but CUPE thinks an agreement can still be reached.
After the initial meeting in conciliation on July 10, CUPE 907 thought there was an agreement to meet again the first week of September. Both sides agreed at that time to a media black-out. But obviously this agreement must have broken down, because the very next day the union was getting bashed in the media for holding up talks.
“Then things went sideways this week with the union being falsely accused of walking away from the table when it was us who offered to meet over the weekend of July 11 to 13,” said Helen Gibb-Gavel, National Staff Representative for CUPE 907. “It was the City that said they couldn’t meet over that weekend. It was the Members of the City’s bargaining team said they had family commitments over that weekend and we gladly respected that. It wasn’t us who walked away from the table or delayed discussions.”
“We don’t want a disruption of any kind,” Whiteman said. “We are proud of this city and proud of the work we do to make our community strong and healthy and we want to continue to bargain productively.”
For more information, contact:
Helen Gibb-Gavel, CUPE National Representative, 905-242-4207
David Robbins, CUPE Communications, 613-878-1431