VANCOUVER—Vancouver’s inside workers followed the recommendation of their CUPE 15 bargaining committee and voted 73 per cent to accept mediator Brian Foley’s recommendations for settlement. Over the past two days, almost 2,000 members voted.
If the City of Vancouver also ratifies Foley’s recommendations the City’s 2,500 inside workers could be back on the job soon and city services such as building inspection, recreation services, civic theatres, by-law enforcement and cleaning of city facilities could resume in short order.
CUPE 15’s bargaining committee recommended acceptance of Foley’s recommendations because they did not include the laundry list of concessions the City of Vancouver was demanding and addressed a number of key issues that the inside workers identified as important, such as:
- A six month notice period and special consideration, including severance provisions, for members whose work is contracted out;
- A timely process to resolve reclassification issues;
- Anti-harassment language;
- Guaranteed consultation on development of a whistle-blower policy and the right to defend any worker disciplined as a result of whistle-blowing;
- Positive movement towards converting auxiliary/casual workers to regular full and part-time and scheduling of auxiliary/casual work by seniority.
“It’s clear the members are prepared to accept Foley’s recommendations,” says CUPE 15 chief negotiator, Keith Graham. “It’s unfortunate it took a strike in order to get an acceptable deal, but that’s what happens when you’re dealing with an employer that doesn’t want to negotiate. The workers and the public pay the price.”
CUPE 15 president Paul Faoro agrees, “We’re really proud of our members who have stood so strong, against such odds, for a reasonable contract for themselves and future City employees. It takes courage to stand up for your principles.”
Faoro vowed to continue to work with and support other CUPE locals that may not settle tonight and urges City Council and the Vancouver Library Board to negotiate fair and respectful agreements that those workers deserve.
Contact: Paul Faoro, CUPE 15 president, 604-202-1829
Keith Graham, CUPE 15 chief negotiator, 604-785-7266
Diane Kalen, CUPE Communications, 778-229-0258