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News Media Release

June 27, 1998

Negotiations between CUPE 87 and the City of Thunder Bay broke down at 1:00 AM this morning after over 60 hours of marathon bargaining. These talks were aimed at breaking the log jam on the two major issues remaining in dispute – contracting out and wages.

The Citys position on the wage increase was a 2% and 2% increase in each year of a two year agreement – for a total of a 4% increase. The Union made two major moves on the wage increase during these talks, moving down to $1.25 per hour - a drop in its position of 50 cents per hour. The City refused to budge on its 4% bottom line.

An agreement was finally reached on the contracting out issue late Friday evening. A few minutes later the City tabled a take-it-or-leave-it “final offer” regarding the wage issue and advised that they were walking out of the talks in 30 minutes.

The Citys final wage proposal moved the total 4% that they had on the table to the first year but did not represent an increase in their total offer. The Citys proposal for the second year, therefore, changed to 0%.

“The Citys “final offer” on the wage increase issue amounts to nothing more than a repackaging of the same hard-line position that they have stuck to since the beginning of this strike,” said CUPE 87 President Judy Mongrain. “We moved down 50 cents per hour on our position and they havent moved a penny on theirs.”

“Our members and the public will be bitterly disappointed at the Citys hard-line on wages. After seven years, we know that the City can afford to do better,” said Barry Chezick, Co-Chair of CUPEs Negotiating Committee. “It was especially insulting that the Mayor and City Council were not even available when the City walked out of bargaining.”

CUPEs Negotiating Committee will meet with its 60 Picket Captains at 10:00 AM this morning to provide a summary of the Citys final offer,” Chezick continued. “In addition, we have called a Special General Membership Meeting for Monday, June 29, 1998, where we will provide all members with a complete copy of the Citys proposal.”

CUPE 87 has called a news conference for Tuesday, June 30, 1998 at 10:30 at the Labour Centre to advise the public of our intentions.

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For further information please call Judith Mongrain at: Work: 345-9511 or Home: 623-6095.

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