Loyalist Township municipal workers rejected management’s ‘final’ offer and have asked their employer to return to the bargaining table to resume negotiations and reach an amicable agreement to avoid any service disruption, says the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE), representing 64 municipal workers at the Township. The workers voted 90 per cent to reject management’s ‘final’ offer at a membership meeting last night.
“Our members have spoken overwhelmingly to reject the ‘take it or leave it’ bargaining approach that management has adopted in this round of bargaining,” said Alex Scott, president of CUPE 2150. “We are united and are asking management to return to the bargaining table to have full and open discussions on the outstanding issues and reach a fair deal to avoid any service disruption.”
The Loyalist Township’s hired consultant triggered a countdown to a possible legal lock-out or strike deadline of August 22, at 12:01 a.m., by calling for a no-board report from the Ministry of Labour, on the first day of conciliation talks. Both parties only had two previous bargaining meetings prior to the conciliation meeting. CUPE 2150 remains committed to continuing bargaining talks to reach a fair contract and avoid any service disruption.
“We were surprised that management pushed bargaining into a possible service shutdown situation when both parties have not had fulsome discussions on an important issue like ‘hours of work’ that affects people’s livelihood and work-life balance,” continued Scott. “We’ve always been open to discuss issues that can improve the way we serve our community and we remain committed to do that. The only way that can happen is for talks to resume at the bargaining table.”
“It is ironic that the employer claims they are seeking ‘greater flexibility’ and that they are ‘committed to the collective bargaining process’ when all their actions during bargaining were aggressive – from demanding changes without fulsome discussions to issuing a ‘final’ offer and triggering a possible service shutdown that affects the very community that they say they are trying to help,” said Scott. “But we remain hopeful that management will change their mindset and return to the bargaining table in an effort to avoid a showdown that disrupts services in our community.”
Historically, CUPE 2150 and Loyalist Township have been able to conclude bargaining without any service disruption and have had a respectful working relationship that allowed for open and fruitful discussions. “There is no reason why both parties can’t sit down and discuss the outstanding issues and conclude talks with an amicable deal – just because there is a change in management does not mean our track record of working respectfully has to change,” concluded Scott. “Our members are in the business of serving our community and we want to continue to do that without any unnecessary management/labour turmoil.” CUPE 2150 has from the very beginning of bargaining remained open to discuss issues that will improve services for residents of Loyalist Township, and the bargaining team of the union remains committed to do that at the bargaining table.
For more information, please contact:
CUPE 2150 President
CUPE National Representative