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Inflation for the year 2000 in Cape Breton was 3.5%. Analysts predict it will be 3% this year, which means local politicians will be getting automatic 3% increases.

CUPE Representative Jacquie Bramwell, who bargains on behalf of CBRM inside and outside workers, says she just signed a contract for the crossing guards yesterday with a 1.5% increase for each year of a two-year deal.

Says Bramwell, The hypocrisy of this mayor and councillors to sit across the table and tell us we have to cooperate with them to get Cape Breton out of its current economic crisis, tell us there is no more money, and then to do this is simply outrageous.

These crossing guards who work 20 hours a week, make $8 an hour. What a slap in the face to these hard-working and dedicated crossing guards who we entrust with the safety of our children.

Says Bramwell, This is a mayor who makes $83,000 a year. Were also talking about councillors who make $35,000 annually for a part-time job!

On top of the COLA increases, the mayor and council have given themselves access to the CBRM pension plan.

We are headed to the bargaining table with the inside unit on July 12, and I can tell you that those automatic COLA increases are going to be part of our proposals. Whats good for the goose is good for the gander, says Bramwell.

Where is the credibility? How can we bargain in good faith with this employer, when they engage in this kind of hypocrisy, asks Bramwell.

CUPE Local 933 represents inside workers, Local 759 the outside workers and Local 761 the crossing guards with the CBRM.