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VICTORIA — Contract talks have gone to mediation over one outstanding issue, that of taking away severance pay for employees who have provided ten or more years of service to the BCSPCA.

John Burrows, president of CUPE Local 50 said, “We would just like this employer to treat its employees as well as the employees treat the animals that come into our care, with dignity and respect. Workers with ten and more years of service should not have their access to severance pay taken away.”

Grant McArthur, government mediator, has been appointed to help resolve this last contract issue and a date for mediation is scheduled for the beginning of April.

Burrows explains, “Caring for animals comes first. We’ve been keeping this facility running smoothly despite not having a contract for the past 15 months. We’re just asking that the employer show us some respect in this.”

Local 50 includes approximately 25 men and women who provide care for injured and abandoned animals for the SPCA in the Greater Victoria area.