Members of CUPE 2262 (Regional District of Central Kootenay), have voted overwhelmingly in favour of job action at Nelson & District Community Complex.
The union sub-local, which represents 55 employees at the NDCC’s arena, swimming pool, and fitness facilities, held the strike vote on Saturday afternoon. With a majority of the membership turning out to cast ballots, all voted infavourof a strike.
“No one wants to go down this road, but the regional district has left us little choice,” said CUPE 2262 President Leford Lafayette. “It all comes down to wages, term, and benefits: we asked for cost of living and minor benefit increases, but they said no. Instead, they’re offering a two-year agreement that expires in six months.”
Since the collective agreement expired a year and a half ago, the parties have returned to the table several times. But the union’s attempts to reach a mediated settlement ended with the mediator unable to negotiate a deal with the Regional District.
“They came after every cornerstone of our collective agreement: seniority, hours of work provisions, and full-time/part-time designations,” added Lafayette. “We spent a long time negotiating back and forth on language. The employer offered a one and one for a two-year agreement, with no benefit increases. If the union were to agree to this, we’d be behind the cost of living by three per cent over the last three years.
The union is seeking a three-year contract with a cost of living average over the term.
Members of CUPE 2262 employed at NDCC include fitness technicians, lifeguards, acquafit and swimming instructors, as well as maintenance, custodians, customer service representatives and child minders.