CUPE 933 members on picket lineInside workers with Cape Breton Regional Municipality (CBRM), represented by CUPE 933, voted on Thursday to reject the tentative agreement offered by the employer.

“Our members decided that improved working conditions for jailers and emergency centre workers is more important than the modest gains they would have achieved in the agreement,” said Daniel Colbourne, CUPE 933 president.

“Jailers and 911 staff have been working short, under terrible conditions, for too long.” CUPE National Representative Tammy Martin said the employer’s offer included a 3 percent wage increase for jailers “but the members clearly said they want better for these employees.” Jailers at the Sydney lockup and 911 workers are asking for an adjustment to bring them up to par with their counterparts elsewhere in the province. The wage disparity has resulted in ongoing recruitment and retention issues at both facilities.

“The members decided that the employer’s offer falls far short of the mark,” said Martin. “CBRM will be provided with the proper notice should the local decide to take job action.”

The local is currently in a legal strike position. The previous agreement expired on October 31, 2021. CUPE 933 represents approximately 140 municipal workers at Transit Cape Breton, 911 and 311 Regional Emergency Communication Centres, Police Services, the Civic Works Centre, the Engineering and Public Works Department, the Sydney lockup, CBRM Water Utility, the Solid Waste Management Department, and facilities such as the Centre 200 and County arenas.