Members of CUPE 4616-2 will be on strike as of 12:01 a.m., August 1, after the Township of Bonfield moved to impose its own terms and conditions of employment, circumventing the bargaining process and causing a service disruption that no one wants. “After threatening to lock out our members and cancelling all future bargaining dates, the Mayor and Council have informed workers the Township would impose its last contract offer, disregarding the collective bargaining process,” warned CUPE National Representative Steve Boyle. “Our members are left with little choice but to go on strike to defend public services and working conditions in the Township of Bonfield.”
“We thank residents for their support, and ask them to direct their frustration and anger towards Council and the Mayor,” said Boyle. “To be clear, if Council agreed to continue talks, there would be no strike August 1. If Council and the Mayor did not dictate and impose their own contract, outside the collective bargaining process, there would be no strike, and talks could continue.”
The Mayor and Council demanded a long list of concessions since talks began, including attacks on seniority, training, employment security, scheduling, vacations, sick leave and benefits, including threats of contracting out.
“The last thing we want is a strike,” said Boyle. “We agreed to several of management’s proposals, including the exclusion of certain bargaining unit positions to allow the Township to address management concerns. Management however rejected the union’s modest proposals, and did not respond to our offer to reach a settlement on July 26.”
The strike will suspend roads maintenance, landfill and recycling services, applications and issuing of building permits, planning services, parks and recreation, tourism, by-law enforcement, health and safety, and all Township office services.
“Our members are residents, neighbours and friends of Bonfield taxpayers,” said Boyle. “We don’t want to be on strike, and we are asking residents to contact the Mayor and Councillors to demand they resume negotiations, in good faith, and do what it takes to end this service disruption with a fair contract settlement.”
For more information, please contact:
Steve Boyle, CUPE National Representative, 705-474-9765, Extension 23
Robert Lamoureux, CUPE Communications, 905-739-3999