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Charlottetown - “The Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) Local 501 representing employees of the Public Works, Recreation and Fire Department of the City of Charlottetown have broken off talks for the second time in five weeks and we are not very happy about it,” says Bill McKinnon, CUPE National Servicing Representative.

The Public Works employees broke off talks on September 19th, 2000 after one full year of negotiations and fifteen meetings but later secured a meeting with City Council after which the two sides agreed to return to the table. After meeting twice more Local 501 broke off the negotiations heading for conciliation and arbitration. The Charlottetown Water & Sewer workers, members of CUPE Local 830, also broke off talks with the City last week and filed for conciliation with the Minister Responsible for Labour, The Honourable Gail Shea.

“We told the City not to come to the table unless they intended to take our efforts to secure a collective agreement seriously. What happened, from the Union’s perspective, was simply an attempt to keep us talking until after the election with no substantive movement on the issues of most importance to our people. Specifically those issues are job security for the 150 plus seasonal members we represent along with overtime issues.

The City did offer a five year wage increase identical to that which they gave to the Waste Water Treatment Plant. However, that benchmark was already set with Waste Water so was nothing less than what was expected or would have been accepted and the City’s negotiators knew that.

The present labour strife within the City of Charlottetown is disgraceful, and what’s worse, it could have been prevented. City Council has badly miscalculated the depth of frustration and mistrust our members have in the present Administration,” concluded McKinnon.


Mr. McKinnon may be reached for comment at (902) 566-4006 or

(902) 436-6174 (after 6:00 P.M.)

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