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REGINA, SK. - The three civic unions are waiting to see if the mayor and city council will improve their wage offer by one per cent to achieve a contract settlement, or provoke an all out strike with their 1,700 unionized employees.

The mayor and councillors will meet later today to decide whether they’ll accept “the deal” the three civic unions proposed yesterday during another day of contract negotiations.

“Both sides made moves yesterday to reach a settlement,” says CUPE staff representative Malcolm Matheson. “In the end, we said: ‘Here’s your deal. If you don’t accept it, we’ll be escalating to a full scale strike and looking for more.”

Matheson says the two sides are only one per cent apart. “It’s in their hands now,” says Matheson, adding they expect to hear from the city by mid-afternoon today.

As a goodwill gesture, the unions lifted their ban on collecting fares and fees at midnight. Residents are once again paying to ride the buses and use the pools, leisure centres and landfill.

The ban on collecting fares and fees was part of the union’s strike action to achieve fair wage increases. It began on Tuesday, after members of CUPE 21, CUPE 7 and the Amalgamated Transit Union Local 588 returned to work from a one-day civic wide strike.

The unions are seeking wage increases of 6.5 per cent over three years

For background information, see: http://www.reginaciviccoalition.ca/