DELTA – The public employees of Delta have sent a strong message to the Greater Vancouver Regional District Labour Relations Bureau (“Bureau”) and their employer today – namely, they will not allow a Vancouver and Olympics-driven bargaining agenda to be imposed on Delta. Almost three quarters of the public employees, represented by CUPE 454 voted against the region’s final offer, with similar opposition from the smaller Delta Police Board.
“Enough of the Bureau’s games,” says CUPE 454 President Darryl Robison. “We have been trying for months and months to get a contract that is genuinely bargained and not imposed. Instead we’ve been forced into mediation and then forced to vote on a package that was cooked up in Vancouver – something we did not negotiate. Our message to the Bureau is ‘just bargain!’”
Robison says his next steps are to contact the mediator tomorrow, seeking dates to work out a negotiated settlement. He added that the local will be seeking a regular contract term like three or four years, which reflects normal bargaining practices rather than a contract term organized around the Olympics.
“There is no Delta-inspired reason why the public employees of Delta should be forced to take a 39-month contract, which cynically leaves us negotiating our next contract only days after the Olympics ends and the bills start rolling in,” says Robison.
CUPE 454 will also be seeking reasonable improvements like the extension of benefits for retires and enhanced working conditions for part-time and auxiliary workers.
”I’m confident a fair contract is easily attainable – we just need to see an earnest effort by the Bureau to bargain.”
In an unusual move last week, the Bureau ordered a final offer vote, which includes a 39-month contract term. Like most contracts throughout the region, Delta’s contract with its public employees expired 6 months ago. Almost 9,000 civic workers in the region are in strike ready position as they react similarly to the Vancouver and Olympics driven regional bargaining agenda being imposed on Lower Mainland communities by the Bureau.
CUPE 454 (Canadian union of Public Employees) represents over 800 lifeguards, water workers, guards, museum workers, gardeners, inspectors, clerks, surveyors, police dispatchers and the many more professionals that work for the Corporation of Delta, Delta Police Board and the Delta Museum and Archives.
Contact: Darryl Robison, CUPE 454 President, (604) 690-4564;
Barry O’Neill, CUPE BC President, (604)340-6768;
Diane Kalen, CUPE Communications, (778)229-0258.
For the contact information of other CUPE local representatives involved in Lower Mainland bargaining, please visit: www.fairnessforcivicworkers.ca/contacts