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KAWARTHA LAKES, Ont. Municipal workers with the City of Kawartha Lakes are set to go on strike April 23rd, at 12:01 a.m., if mediation talks between the City and Local 855 of the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE), fail to produce a new contract.

It appears the City is more interested in pushing us to go on strike than offering us a fair contract, said Lyn Edwards, president of CUPE 855. Management didnt make any meaningful moves to settle the contract at conciliation. Our members are fed up with the Citys stalling tactics and are ready to walk the picket line if we dont reach a fair deal.

Wage parity with neighbouring municipalities remains one of the major outstanding issues. For example, heavy equipment operators are paid about 28 per cent less than their counterparts in neighbouring municipalities. Benefits are also unresolved. CUPE is urging residents to contact the mayor and councillors to demand a fair settlement to prevent a strike.

Our members are proud residents and workers of Kawartha Lakes, said Edwards. Its unfair that our members are paid significantly less than neighbouring municipalities for providing the same services. Mediation will be the last opportunity for management and councillors to show the respect and fairness our members deserve.

CUPE 855 represents 214 inside and 182 outside workers, who provide public services such as roads maintenance, snow removal, parks, water and waste treatment, landfill, accounting, administrative, library, customer service, by-law enforcement, social services and others. The workers last contract expired on December 31, 2004. Mediation talks are scheduled for April 20th.


For further information, please contact:

Lyn Edwards, CUPE 855 President - 705-357-1480

Lee Doutisis, CUPE National Representative - 705-743-0600

James Chai, CUPE Communications - 416-292-3999