CUPE Local 338 members who work as jail guards at the Kelowna RCMP Detachment have voted 100 per cent in favour of strike action after negotiations broke down with the Commissionaires and the City of Kelowna.
The 17 members who provide correctional services and supervise offenders originally voted in favour of strike action this past May. However, they chose not to take any action at that time and focused on resolving negotiations through mediation which included discussions with the City.
“We believe we are very close to reaching an agreement,” said CUPE 338 President Lee Mossman. “The reality is that our members are paid less than other workers in comparable positions and that is causing retention issues as well as health and safety concerns. We believe that if we can resolve this issue we will be able to conclude negotiations.” According to Mossman, jail guards in similar-sized and nearby communities make approximately five dollars more per hour than workers in Kelowna.
A meeting with the Labour Relations Board to negotiate essential service levels has been set. Following those discussions, 72‑hour strike notice will have to be served for the union to take strike action.
CUPE Local 338 represents 1,000 members who provide key community services to Kelowna area residents and businesses.