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NORTH VANCOUVER - The pace of Lower Mainland settlements picked up even more today as CUPE 389’s bargaining committee signed a tentative agreement with the District of North Vancouver and North Vancouver Recreation Commission. The 800 civic workers have been on strike since July 23rd, 2007. This agreement is the fifth CUPE municipal settlement in the past week and a half.

CUPE 389 is recommending ratification of the settlement to their members and holding a vote on Saturday, August 4, 2007. District of North Vancouver Council and the Recreation Commission Board are expected to hold their ratification votes shortly.

We are very happy to have reached settlements with both the District and the Recreation Commission,” says Cindy McQueen, CUPE 389 president. “It’s unfortunate that it took a strike in order to prompt these employers and the GVRD Labour Relations Bureau to bargain to a conclusion, but we are very pleased to see the movement we’ve seen in the last few days.”

The union will not be releasing details of the agreements until after member ratification has taken place, but McQueen says the agreements “build on” settlements reached in Richmond, Delta, Surrey and Burnaby.

The above settlements all happened without GVRD Labour Relations Bureau involvement – so this settlement in North Vancouver is a case of non-Bureau municipalities leading Bureau-run municipalities.

This settlement sends a strong message to the City of Vancouver”, says Barry O’Neill, President of CUPE BC. “Mayor Sullivan and his NPA councillors can’t hide behind the GVRD Labour Relations Bureau anymore, they have to step up to the plate, bring an end to the strike and restore services to the citizens of Vancouver. That will take returning to the table and bargaining fairly with their civic workers and in a way that addresses the legitimate concerns and issues they bring to the table.”

O’Neill is referring to the fact that the NPA controlled City of Vancouver continues to refuse to even set bargaining dates with CUPE Locals 15 and 1004. CUPE Local 391, representing Vancouver Public Library employees, has recommenced negotiations but progress is slow.

CUPE 389 represents 800 employees of the District of North Vancouver and North Vancouver Recreation Commission. The local also represents employees of the City of North Vancouver and has not yet concluded an agreement with that employer.

Contacts:         Cindy McQueen, CUPE 389 president, 778-688-9537
Barry O’Neill, CUPE BC president, 604-340-6768
Diane Kalen, CUPE Communications, 778-229-0258