AURORA – The Town of Auroras outside workers are set to go on strike tomorrow, May 24, at 12:01 a.m., if last minute negotiations between Aurora and the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) Local 905 fail to produce a new contract.
The key issue is wages. We found out at the bargaining table that the town has a discriminatory policy against outside workers, says Charlie Goodwin, a municipal worker and chairperson of the Aurora Unit of CUPE Local 905. It really offends us that Aurora seems to have no problem giving hefty increases to city managers and inside workers and councilors, but seems determined to pay unfair wages for hard physical labour. Aurora is practicing clear discrimination with this policy.
The union says the policy is rigged. The policy not only directs that we are to be paid 10 per cent less than the average in the region, says Goodwin. It is rigged to ensure our wages will be substantially lower because it does not include big players like the Region and Vaughan. Under this policy, Aurora workers can never catch up to wages paid in Richmond Hill and Newmarket, let alone the Region.
Auroras 33 full-time and 10 seasonal outside workers maintain the parks, pools, and arenas, repair infrastructure such as roads, water mains and sewers and plough the snow in the winter. We have tough physical jobs and we are expected to be a jack of all trades, says Goodwin. The town has been relying on a small core of dedicated workers who have been sticking it out year after year. Many workers leave for greener pastures. People who have stuck around are really dismayed by this policy. It shows that for years, Aurora has discriminated against outside workers and does not value them.
We are calling upon the Town of Aurora to abolish this bad policy and provide the workers with wages increases to make up for years of discriminatory treatment. Its a matter of fairness.
For more information, please contact:
(905) 717-9682 (pager)
(416) 292-3999, ext. 222