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Charlottetown The Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE), Local 830 representing Water & Sewer workers in the City of Charlottetown, are exercising their democratic rights and are taking their issues directly to the candidates seeking election to Charlottetown City Council, says Bill McKinnon, CUPE National Representative.

The contract talks between Local 830 and the City of Charlottetown broke down last Wednesday, October 18th, over wage parity for three clerical workers; non-union employees doing bargaining unit work and vacation leave. The Union has filed for conciliation with the Minister Responsible for Labour, the Honourable Gail Shea.

These workers are also taxpayers, citizens of Charlottetown and most importantly, voters. Everyone knows we are in an election campaign yet when we attempted to get an audience with the Mayor and/or City Council this morning, we were flatly refused. These workers are tired of being sold a bill of goods by the City and it became clear to us that their negotiators were simply trying to keep us at the table until the election was over. However, we are now taking the issues directly to all candidates seeking election on November 6th.

CUPE has prepared, and is distributing, a questionnaire to every Charlottetown City Council candidate for their views on four basic and simple questions (see attached questionnaire). We have asked that the questionnaires be returned by October 30th after which we plan to publicize the results. The workers have also scheduled, an employee sponsored, question and answer All Candidate Forum for Thursday evening, November 2nd, 2000 (time and place to be determined at a later date). Every candidate has been invited to attend.

Since the present City Council seems intent on avoiding these serious matters, it is our hope the new Council will be more receptive and responsive. One thing is for sure, these workers are not going away and will not forget! concluded McKinnon.


For further comment feel free to contact Mr. McKinnon at 566-4006.