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Municipal, library, and museum workers across the Lower Mainland are protesting a lack of progress in contract talks by holding rallies, distributing leaflets and setting up practice pickets today.

The local public employees are members of the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) and members of Bargaining 2000, a regional bargaining committee that represents more than 13,000 workers in 17 CUPE locals.

While protests will take place in communities from one end of the GVRD to the other, the largest rally is expected to take place in the City of Vancouver.

The rally by members of CUPE Locals 15 and 1004 will take place on July 18, at 12:30 pm, on the steps of Vancouver City Hall, 453 West 12th Avenue.

Bargaining 2000 Chief Negotiator Neil Bradbury says he hopes employers hear the message being delivered by local public employees across the region.

CUPE members are saying loud and clear that they expect their employers and the GVRD to get serious about bargaining, says Bradbury.

After nearly a year at the bargaining table, these employers refuse to even discuss the issues the union has put forward. By refusing to participate in real and meaningful negotiations, these employers are threatening the services that communities depend on.

While todays protests will not include job action and wont impact public services, Bradbury says job action by the union is inevitable if employers dont get serious about negotiations.

The CUPE Bargaining 2000 Structure represents employees of Burnaby (City and Library); Coquitlam (City and Library); Delta (Municipality, Police Department, and Museum); Langley (City and Township); North Vancouver (District, City, Recreation Commission, and Library); Richmond (City and Library); Vancouver (City, Parks Board, Museums and Library); the cities of New Westminster, Port Moody, and White Rock; and the districts of Maple Ridge and Pitt Meadows.

For more information:

Jim Kirk 291-1940 or 720-7905

Neil Bradbury 291-1940 or 818-0798