WEST NIPISSING, Ont. – Two distinct bargaining units of Local 535 of the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) are still without collective agreements with the City of West Nipissing and are now preparing for the possibility of lockout or strike action.
In February, members from the water and sewer department had an emergency meeting and gave a 100 per cent strike mandate to their bargaining committee. All eight members voted that day.
However, Local 535-2 still hopes to avoid going on strike: “Our priority is to continue to do our job but the reality is that we do not have a collective agreement. The support we received from our colleagues gives us a real boost going into conciliation on May 26.”
The 13 employees from environmental services local 535-3 are also facing a similar reality. Mike Fortin, member of bargaining unit 535-3, would also like to get a deal at the table and avoid a possible strike or lockout: “We finally got a date from the employer and are meeting on June 6. Our intention is to negotiate in good faith and keep serving the people of West Nipissing. For that, we need to be able to discuss openly with the other party, which has not happened so far.”
In April, members from the environmental services local 535-3 also gave their bargaining committee a 100 per cent strike mandate.
Local 535-2 (water & sewer services) has been without a collective agreement since January 1, 2007 and Local 535-3 (environmental services) has been without a collective agreement since September 1, 2007.
For more information, please contact:
Paul Lafleur, Local 535 (bargaining unit 2 – water and sewer services)
Mike Fortin, Local 535 (bargaining unit 3 – environmental services)