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City’s reason for denying union delegation to meeting doesn’t wash, says CUPE 410

VICTORIA— Saanich’s municipal council is sticking its head in the sand by refusing to accept a union delegation to its regular meeting on October 1, the union representing Greater Victoria Public Library workers charged today.

CUPE 410, whose members have closed the library system with strike action three times since September 7, contacted Saanich staff on Tuesday requesting delegation status at the upcoming meeting. Two days later, the union was informed that Saanich council meetings “do not have a public presentation or delegation section,” and that “all labour relations in Saanich are dealt with In Camera.”

That response only adds insult to injury, says CUPE 410 president Ed Seedhouse.

“First the Library, their bargaining agent, and the municipalities that fund them betrayed us by refusing to pay what they agreed to 15 years ago in a binding agreement,” said Seedhouse, referring to a promise to introduce pay equity with workers doing equivalent jobs at Victoria City Hall.

“Now Saanich council has refused even to hear us. With four library branches in Saanich already taking job action, why wouldn’t they want to come forward and try to influence the Greater Victoria Labour Relations Association—which they broke away from—to get both sides back to the table? They’re really playing the ostrich here.”

Seedhouse said the official reason given for the refusal doesn’t make sense.

“The Municipality tells us that they deal with all negotiations matters in camera, but there are no negotiations,” he said. “Their bargaining agent will not discuss Pay Equity at the negotiations table.”

Seedhouse added that library workers plan to be at Saanich municipal hall “in large numbers” on Monday (Oct 1).

“Let them refuse us to our faces,” he said. “We will just be there, peacefully waiting to be listened to.”

Contact:        Ed Seedhouse: CUPE  410 president: (250) 588-9565

                        Tammy Simonds: CUPE Representative: (250) 812-7197

                        Dan Gawthrop, CUPE Communications: (604) 999-6132