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ST. CATHARINES The St. Catharines Museum is making a bad relationship with its employees worse, by not properly negotiating the terms of a second collective agreement, says the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) Local 1287, which represents the workers.

The employers failure to properly acknowledge our contract proposals, which are quite modest, is exacerbating the bad working climate at the museum, says Jill Varga, a CUPE staff representative. The museum has to recognize that the workers will have a proper contract in the end, and that contract will contain well-deserved improvements.

The union says that it was forced to ask the Ministry of Labour for conciliation to get negotiations going, because the employer would not agree to dates for bargaining. We realized we were not going to get anywhere, says Varga. Now, the museum is asking for concessions. They are refusing to recognize the rights of their part-time employees. They will not agree to small wage and shift premium increases and they are resisting the creation of a dental plan.

More conciliation talks have been scheduled for December 12, 2001.

Museum employees include custodians, a curator, gift shop workers, a receptionist, and clerical staff. The museum features exhibits about local history and natural history.

The Canadian Union of Public Employees represents 180,000 workers across Ontario, many of whom work for municipalities, hospitals, school boards, and universities.


Jill Varga, Staff Representative: 905-641-3051 or 519-502-6806
Steve Leavitt, President CUPE L.1287: 905-685-0001
Shannon McManus, Communications: 416-292-3999, ext. 222