With a June 17 deadline for a potential lockout or strike just days away, negotiators for Local 2380 of the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE 2380) urged the Town of Penetanguishene to get serious about negotiating a fair contract with 13 newly‑organized employees.

“We have an opportunity to conclude these negotiations successfully, but the deadline the town has created means we have to get serious about finishing the job,” said CUPE 2380 President Jacob Reid.

“Outstanding issues remain. Both parties need to deal with them in the next two days,” he added.

The 13 members of CUPE 2380, Unit 05‑02, who perform a variety of tasks which greatly enhance the quality of life in the community, including arena and museum workers, the town’s Bylaw Enforcement Officer and Tourism and Events Coordinator, as well as the Town Hall and Public Works clerical staff, are negotiating their first contract.

Late last month, the Town of Penetanguishene requested a ‘No Board’ report from the Provincial Ministry of Labour, which triggers a 17‑day countdown to a potential labour disruption. Negotiators for the union and the town will continue to meet, assisted by a provincially-appointed conciliation officer, up until the deadline of 12:01 a.m., Saturday, June 17.

Members of CUPE 2380.05‑02 held a strike vote earlier this week, giving their bargaining committee a mandate to take whatever action they deem necessary to negotiate a fair settlement, up to and including strike action.

Assisted by the larger local union and CUPE National staff, members have set up a strike committee and are preparing for all contingencies.

“Our members don’t want to be locked out. They don’t want to go on strike. They want to continue providing these vital community services, but we are ready to strike if we have to. Our employer needs to use our time at the bargaining table wisely,” said Reid.