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Haldimand County employees, members of CUPE Local 4700, went on strike March 8 to protect their collective agreement.

The bargaining committee thought it had a deal after negotiating right up to the strike deadline. The county’s negotiators said they would have to get the municipal council’s approval for the possible agreement.

Instead, they came back with a new list of concessions that would effectively gut the local’s collective agreement. The employer wants to remove job security provisions and hold the right to cancel benefits at any time.

The main issue in dispute during bargaining was wage harmonization. Many county workers get paid different rates of pay for doing the same job, since municipal amalgamation took place. Now, the local is fighting to protect the entire contract.

CUPE Local 4700 is considering filing charges of bargaining in bad faith against the county.