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Tuesday, May 8, 2001 (Woodstock) Employees of the Town of Woodstock are being urged by their union leaders to vote for municipal candidates who will treat them with respect and value their experience.

Employees of the town of Woodstock, members of Local 719 of the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE), attended the Coffee with the Candidates meeting held last Thursday, May 3. Prospective councillors were all asked the same questions:

  • If elected, would you be willing to meet with union representatives to talk about our issues?
  • Would you support our request for quarterly staff meetings?
  • Will you involve town employees in strategic planning?

This last question is really one of common sense, says Ralph McBride, president of CUPE Local 719. Our members are really on the front line, doing the work. We are the ones who deal with the public, hear the complaints and get the feedback. In addition, we have members who have worked for the Town of Woodstock in various departments for more than twenty years. These people really have a better sense of the big picture than anyone else possibly could.

The union is convinced involving its members in the development of a strategic plan would be more cost-effective in the long run.

Staff can provide advice, based on experience that could serve to prevent costly errors. It is very frustrating to our members, as taxpayers, that their experience is not put to good use, continues McBride.

On May 14, CUPE members should vote for candidates who will listen to them, as town employees and as union members with valid concerns, concludes McBride. We are optimistic that our new Town Council will work with us to ensure that Woodstock remains a community where we all want to live.

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For more information:
Ralph McBride, President, CUPE Local 719,
(506) 325-7625 (h)