QUESNEL After two days of negotiations, city of Quesnel senior administrators and Quesnel city worker representatives have emerged with an agreement, subject to ratification by both parties, which resolves all outstanding issues and holds the promise of improved labour relations.
We have an agreement in principle that lets us move forward together, says city manager Charles Hamilton. It allows us to provide more efficient city services in a way that increases stability and flexibility at the same time.
In the letter of agreement, the city withdraws all layoffs and reduced hours of work, creates a part-time seasonal position to handle contracted in weekend airport fuel checking and snow removal at the RCMP parking lot, and agrees to provide grader and sand/plow training to employees.
In exchange, the city achieves increased shift flexibility, made possible with the introduction of a casual part-time employee position to provide weekend coverage for over half of the year. The union also dropped all outstanding grievances.
It is always best when we can work together to provide quality city services, says Bernie Schneider, CUPE national representative. This is how we build strong communities.
In compliance with Vince Readys recommendations, the agreement also contracts in South Quesnel snow removal and summer road maintenance creating two full-time jobs maintaining this area as well as other parts of the city, including a winter afternoon shift and a year-round utility position that will include weekend shifts.
CUPE 1050 local union president, Dan Weiman says the morale of his membership is higher than it has been in months. Weve always maintained that city workers are the best ones to provide city services. Now this is a reality.
Layoffs have been rescinded for Quesnels bylaw enforcement officer, building inspector, firehall office assistant and accounts payable clerk until the expiration of the current collective agreement. Both parties have agreed to form a Labour Management committee to analyze workload issues relative to these positions and examine opportunities where additional work could be assigned as a means of retaining these positions as regular full time positions.
October is community living month in Quesnel, says Mayor Nate Bello. A great time to rebuild relationships. We all live and work in the same community. Im confident we can make this work.
The slate has been cleared, says Weiman. We look forward to the future.
CUPE 1050 members have ratified the letter of agreement. Quesnel city council is expected to hold a ratification meeting as early as today.
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Charles Hamilton, city manager, (250) 992-2111;
Bernie Schneider, CUPE national representative, (250) 565-8983;
Diane Kalen, CUPE Communications, (604) 291-1940.