Municipal workers in Cornwall have asked a Ministry of Labour conciliation officer to issue a “no-board report,” which will trigger a strike/lockout deadline once issued. The request comes after two recent conciliation dates failed to produce an agreement between the parties.
The workers, who are represented by CUPE 234, CUPE 3251-01 and CUPE 5734, work for the City in “outside” jobs, at the library, and as paramedics. Inside workers, represented by CUPE 3251, are awaiting a reply from the employer on a proposal from the last conciliation date. Members of CUPE 1792, who work at long-term care home Glen Stor Dun Lodge, have also requested a no-board, but as they do not have the right to strike, their issues will be resolved by interest arbitration.
The workers have been without a contract since 2015 (in the case of the library) and 2016 (in the case of the others). “Talks so far have been completely fruitless,” said CUPE National Representative Alison Denis, “and it’s time to get things moving. Perhaps a deadline will focus City minds toward resolution.”
Paramedics’ right to strike is partially limited by an essential services agreement between the parties, which is a requirement of the Ambulance Services Collective Bargaining Act. Under the agreement signed between CUPE and the City of Cornwall, only three cars of the regular complement of nine would be on the road in a strike or lockout situation.
“Through strong strike votes this winter our members told us clearly that they will take job action if they must, for fair working conditions and to defend the quality of public services in Cornwall,” said Keith Sandford, CUPE National Representative. “The City can help us avert that by getting serious about negotiating fair deals for the people who keep Cornwall running every day. No further dates are set, but we will be here, ready to bargain during the countdown period.”
The Ministry of Labour will issue the no‑board report in the coming days, with a strike or lockout deadline expected to be set around mid‑May.