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ST. CATHARINES, Ont. St. Catharines municipal workers, represented by the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE), are encouraged with a decision by St. Catharines City Council last night to reject managements recommendation to contract out maintenance services of the new Sportsplex.

This is an important victory for the taxpayers of St. Catharines, said Sean Soper, spokesperson for CUPE 150. Councils decision sends a clear message that our city will not support profit-seeking companies, but will invest tax dollars in strengthening quality and accountable public services.

In last nights council meeting, CUPE 150 members made a presentation urging councillors to keep the maintenance services in-house. The union also raised questions about Nustadia, the company recommended by management to take over maintenance at the Sportsplex, including cost over-runs in the City of Guelphs experience with Nustadia.

Management must now follow councils lead and sit down for meaningful discussions with CUPE to keep these services public, said Soper. It is crucial that they back away from unacceptable concession demands that led to the breakdown of earlier talks. Earlier talks to find an internal solution had failed after management demanded concessions from the union affecting working conditions and rates of pay, in exchange for entertaining the idea of keeping the services public.

We wish to thank councillors for supporting city workers last night, and we look forward to sitting down with management to make sure this project goes ahead without inviting private corporations to pocket profits on the backs of local taxpayers, said Soper.

For further information, please contact:
Sean Soper, Spokesperson, CUPE Local 150, 905-688-5601 ext. 2161, 905-680-1306;
Frank Hilton, CUPE National Rep., 905-641-3051;
James Chai, CUPE Communications, 416-292-3999.