After rejecting their employer’s most recent offer, maintenance, information technology and other ‘inside’ workers for the County of Simcoe, members of Unit 01 of Local 5280 of the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE 5280-01) have voted in favour of strike action, if necessary.

Last month, members rejected a settlement offer that included major changes to shift scheduling.

“We believe the framework for a settlement exists, but our membership has been very clear that the proposed changes to their hours of work are not acceptable,” said CUPE National Representative Mike Walters.

In April, the union presented members with a proposed memorandum of settlement, which they subsequently rejected. Last month, workers provided their bargaining committee with their mandate.

Negotiators for the union and the employer are expected to resume bargaining in July, assisted by a provincially-appointed conciliation officer.

Walters urged the County of Simcoe to use the time between now and then wisely, and “come prepared to negotiate in a spirit of mutual respect. This is a matter of critical importance to our membership that both parties need to address.”