Management at the City of Cambridge has set the stage for a pending lockout of municipal workers, jeopardizing public services, by asking the Ministry of Labour to start a countdown to a legal lockout or strike. This provocative move increases the likelihood of a service shutdown as early as October 19, warns the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE), representing 140 front line workers at the City of Cambridge.
“Our goal is to reach a fair deal that will allow our members to continue to deliver the public services that Cambridge residents rely on, especially now during tough economic times,” said Marg Pasher, president of CUPE 1882. “So it surprised us that management would pull the trigger for a No Board from the Ministry of Labour, leading to a potential lockout of front line workers and jeopardizing vital services.”
CUPE 1882 represents ‘inside’ workers who deliver recreational services, city planning, financial and administration, public works support, by-law enforcement, building services and others. The workers’ last contract expired December 31, 2011.
“From serving the needs of seniors at the David Durward Centre, to keeping our residents fit and healthy at city-run pools and hockey arenas, to issuing marriage and birth certificates at City Hall, our members not only help our residents in their daily lives, but we also help our local economy with city planning and issuing building permits,” continued Pasher. “By calling for a No Board, management is jeopardizing these important services that our residents count on.”
In bargaining, since April, CUPE 1882 will continue to bargain in good faith in the hope of reaching a fair deal with the city. Both parties will return to mediation talks with the help of a provincial-appointed mediator on October 17 and 18. “We look forward to going back to bargaining and we hope that management will come back with a more open attitude to bargain and reach a deal,” concluded Pasher. “After all, our members are in the business of delivering public services and jeopardizing these important services would not serve the interests of our community. We hope that management shares our sentiment.”
For more information, please contact:
Heather Grassick, CUPE National Representative, 519-743-7781
James Chai, CUPE Communications, 905-739-3999