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Charlottetown The Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) Local 830, representing the employees of the Charlottetown Water & Sewer Department, have become the third group of CUPE members working for the City of Charlottetown to break off negotiations this year, says Bill McKinnon, CUPE National Servicing Representative.

The Water & Sewer workers broke off talks this afternoon and served notice they would be filing for conciliation (Wednesday, October 18th, 2000) after the City negotiators refused to move on critical issues such as wage parity for the clerical group. These three employees fall over three thousand dollars ($3,000.00) behind their counterparts in Public Works. Also restrictions on the use of non-union casual employees for union work have not been resolved along with vacation entitlement and a few other, less significant, issues.

What is most disturbing is the fact that the City of Charlottetown is batting a thousand this year with respect to labour disputes. Every CUPE Local in this City has had to take the fight to another level to resolve our negotiations. The Waste Water Treatment Plant was 24 hours from a strike in July; Public Works has filed for conciliation and has yet to get a settlement; and now Local 830, with the right to strike as well, is asking the Minister Responsible for Labour for help. Whats wrong with this picture?

The citizens of Charlottetown should be very concerned when the unionized people they employ have to walk away from the negotiating table and risk strike action in order to achieve fair collective agreements. It really is just a matter of fairness, concluded McKinnon.


Mr. McKinnon can be reached for comment at 566-4006 or 436-6174 (after 5:00 P.M.)