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(Peterborough) With a strike deadline of February 23 fast approaching, contract talks between the City of Peterborough and CUPE Local 504 resume tomorrow.

Both sides will sit down with a Mediator from the Ministry of Labour Tuesday and Thursday of this week.

CUPE Local 504 President Phil Jacobs, whose union represents 119 outside workers, says the only major outstanding issue is wages.

Says Jacobs, We have reached a critical stage in bargaining, and we want city residents to know that the union will be doing everything possible to avoid a disruption in service, but we cant do it alone. Both sides need to be committed to averting a strike.

Says the CUPE President, When council gave itself some fairly handsome increases late last year, it talked of not letting Peterboroughs elected officials become second class citizens in relation to other municipalities.

CUPE strongly believes that its comparatively modest wage demands would go a long way to ensuring the citys unionized employees do not feel like second class citizens themselves.

Local 504 members plow city roads, pick up residential garbage, work in the arenas, pools, parks, waste water plant, and are the mechanics who maintain city vehicles and heavy equipment.

City of Peterborough inside workers, meanwhile, are expected to receive a No Board report from the Ministry of Labour this week, which would establish a legal strike deadline for them.

For information:
Phil Jacobs, President, CUPE Local 504
(705) 760-0008 (Cell) - (705) 745-5544 (Strike H.Q.)

John McCracken, CUPE Communications Rep.
(416) 292-3999 (o)