Barely into the first day of conciliation talks, the Loyalist Township’s hired consultant triggered a countdown to a possible service shutdown, as early as mid-August, by asking for a ‘no board’ report from the Ministry of Labour, says the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE), representing 60 municipal workers at the Township.
“It is surprising that the Township would be so trigger happy in pushing for a service shutdown when they supposedly want to ‘provide excellent service to residents’ of Loyalist Township’,” said Alex Scott, President of CUPE 2150. “Our members are from this community and we are all about servicing our residents, after all it is our own community that we are servicing and building.”
“While the CUPE bargaining team was prepared to bargain all day yesterday – it would appear that the hired consultant was intent on pushing bargaining to an unnecessary shut down by prematurely calling for a ‘no-board’ when both parties have not had a chance to fully discuss and explore appropriate solutions for the remaining outstanding issues,” continued Scott. “Why would the Township put a so called ‘final offer’ forward without attempting to have meaningful discussions to achieve a settlement, after all that’s why we are in conciliation?” Both parties had only met twice prior to yesterday’s conciliation meeting.
By calling for a ‘no-board’ report, the Township started a countdown to a possible legal lock-out or strike deadline 17 days after the ‘no-board’ report is issued by the Ministry of Labour. “This was an unnecessary move by the Employer – there was no need for them to jeopardize services that residents count on, especially during summer holidays when kids and families rely on recreational services provided by our members,” said Scott. “It will be up to council to explain why we are in this position when we could have continued bargaining to reach a settlement – we had even requested for further dates so we could continue talks but instead the Employer pulled the trigger and started a countdown toward a possible service shutdown.”
“We will now be reviewing our options and will proceed accordingly,” concluded Scott. “But it is unfortunate that the Township has put us in this situation when we could have had open and meaningful discussions to come to an amicable conclusion to bargaining.”
CUPE 2150 represents over 60 municipal workers who provide municipal services, including public works maintenance of roads, sidewalks, parks, fleet, ferry dock maintenance, land-fill operations, snow removal, emergency services vehicle maintenance, water treatment and distribution services, wastewater treatment and collection services, arena and pool maintenance and operation, administration and financial services, building and property standard inspections and planning and engineering services. The workers’ last contract expired on December 31, 2014.
For more information, please contact:
CUPE 2150 President
CUPE National Representative