On Friday, June 30, CUPE Local 774 members in the City of Abbotsford voted more than two to one to reject the employer’s final offer.
Joe Rodrique, President of Local 774, says that he is very proud of his members. “Our members did the right thing today by rejecting an offer that the employer forced us to vote on. We need to get back to the bargaining table and negotiate a collective agreement.”
The employer used the Labour Code to force a final offer vote. In the June 30 vote, 347 members attended and the vote was 239 to 108 to reject the employer offer.
CUPE national representative Al Ens says that significant vote, with close to 70 percent saying no to the offer, sends a strong signal to the employer that it needs to come back to the table ready to bargain.
Rodrique says that the union had hoped it would not have to act on April’s 82 percent strike vote. When CUPE Local 774 members began job action on June 26 outstanding issues were wages, term of agreement and pay and job security for seasonal workers.
CUPE 774 represents 463 workers who work in all areas of city operations including parks and recreation, sewer, water, fleet vehicle maintenance (city, police and fire), city hall administration, taxation, bylaw enforcement, and fees and licences.
While many city services are affected by the job action, those related to the safety and health of the public are being maintained. These include sewer and water services, some roadwork, and fleet maintenance related to police and fire.
The current collective agreement expired on December 31, 2004 and bargaining began in April 2005.