Representatives of Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) Locals 234, 3251, 3251-01 and 5734 met on Thursday, May 24th, and Friday, May 25th, with the City of Cornwall. CUPE made a substantive offer to address the City’s stated concerns in bargaining. CUPE made a major move that could have ended the current strike.

CUPE has been advised today that the City of Cornwall has rejected CUPE’s offer of May 25th, and is not planning to make a counter-offer. The City has advised CUPE that instead they prefer to request a supervised vote from the Ministry of Labour, as is their right.

Given that the city’s final offer dated May 15th (two days before the strike started) contains most of the same provisions on which our members voted 93 per cent in favour of strike action, CUPE’s bargaining committees will be recommending rejection of the employer’s final offer.

“CUPE’s representatives remain committed to the bargaining process,” said Alison Denis, CUPE National Representative. “We hope the City is able to exhibit some of the same resolve to find a negotiated settlement. So far, they appear to be happy to keep people out on strike and have Cornwall residents go without vital services. We are disappointed, but we remain available to bargain if the City changes its mind.”

The workers have been without a contract since 2015 (in the case of the library) and 2016 (in the case of the others).