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Kawartha Lakes, Ont. City of Kawartha Lakes outside and inside municipal workers voted 99 per cent and 97 per cent respectively, in favour of a strike if their union, Local 855 of the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE), is unable to reach a contract settlement with City management.

Our strong strike mandate shows that our members are ready to take strike action if we dont get a fair deal, said Lyn Edwards, president of CUPE 855. We work hard for local residents, and its time for council and management to show our members the respect that we deserve. The workers last contract expired on December 31, 2004. Conciliation talks are scheduled for April 5th.

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.

Our members deserve to be paid fairly, said Edwards. Its time for the City to bridge the gap between us and neighbouring municipalities were tired of lower wages and inferior benefits for doing the same work as other municipal workers.

CUPE 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. CUPE is urging residents to contact the mayor and councillors to demand a fair settlement to prevent a strike.


For further information, please contact:
Lyn Edwards, CUPE 855 president - 705-357-1480
Lee Doutisis, CUPE National Rep. - 705-743-0600
James Chai, CUPE Communications - 416-292-3999