St. Johns, NL, April 1, 2004In a meeting with Treasury Board officials earlier today, NAPE and CUPE presented their position on what is needed to settle the current strike.
According to CUPE president, Wayne Lucas: The premier has said were back to square oneeverything government had agreed to on March 31 is now off the table. Now I think we have to excuse his spiteful outburst and chalk it up to inexperience. Im not interested in getting into squabbles with the premier. I just want to negotiate a fair deal so our members can get back to working for the people of this province.
NAPE president, Leo Puddister, outlined the offer: To that end, NAPE and CUPE have the following offer for the premier. Lets go back to where we were on March 31, then lets deal with the remaining concessions. And lets settle wages in a four-year deal made up as follows: wage freezes in years one and two, three per cent on April 1, 2006, three per cent on October 1, 2006, three per cent on April 1, 2007, and three per cent on October 1, 2007.
The offer will remain open until midnight on Sunday, April 4. After that NAPE and CUPEs negotiating teams have instructed their unions to withdraw the offer of a two-year wage freeze.
For further information, contact:
Judy Snow, NAPE Communications
Phone (709) 687-8551 (cell)
Phone (709) 726-3129 (home)
John McCracken, CUPE Communications
Phone (902) 222-8457
The premier is still demanding the following concessions:Pensions: The premier refused to guarantee pension premiums wouldnt go up and pension benefits wouldnt go down. He also wont guarantee not to roll the pension plans into one.
Sick leave: The premier wants to cut sick leave benefits in half for future employees.
Classification system: Our existing contracts include governments commitment to introduce a new classification system on April 1, 2004. The unions agreed to a four-year delay. That wasnt enough for this government. They want to put a capa maximum dollar amounton something that is intended to ensure individual public sector workers are paid appropriately for their responsibilities.
School board hours of work: Even though the unions agreed to job reductions resulting from school board amalgamation, government wouldnt agree to honour the Warren and Young reports on school board workers hours of workreports that settled a nine-week strike in 2001.