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COURTENAY — Municipal workers in Courtenay, members of CUPE 556, gave their bargaining team direction to take a strike vote to send a message to their employer.

Members gave the bargaining committee a strong strike mandate,” said CUPE representative Trish Andrews. “We suggested mediation as a way to reach an agreement.”

We asked for mediation so that services to residents can continue uninterrupted,” comments CUPE 556 vice president, Rod Armstrong. “We’re glad the employer agreed, and hopefully we’ll reach an agreement soon.”

Details of the discussions will not be released publicly in respect of the bargaining process.

CUPE 556 represents 121 inside and outside workers in Courtenay who keep the city running – from water treatment to parks and recreation services. They have been without a contract since December 31, 2007.

Contact:   Trish Andrews, CUPE Representative: 250.331.0803, Janet Szliske, CUPE Communications: 604.454.7293