P199, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia

On Monday the members of the Town of Cochrane Local 71 voted against ratification, as the Town of Cochrane has continued to offer subpar wage increases, and improvements on scheduling and work-family balance. On Wednesday, the employer filed a ‘no-board report’ with the Ministry of Labour.

In May, members of CUPE Local 71 overwhelmingly voted 96 percent in favour of strike action.

“Members of CUPE 71 do not want to stop giving services to the community of Cochrane, but we need to be heard and respected. Our members deserve fair wages, and we are willing to keep negotiating with the employer,” said Lyne Nolet, an operations clerk and president of CUPE Local 71, which represents the town’s non-management staff.

Members of CUPE 71 work in the fire department, corporate services, public works, parks & recreation, water and sewer services and daycare. The previous collective agreement expired at the end of 2021. Members are most concerned about wages, which have fallen behind inflation by nearly 12 percent since 2018.

“Cochrane works because we work,” Nolet said. “The services residents rely on and expect will become more unreliable if the town doesn’t take steps to address the concerns of the people who provide those services. We are part of the community of Cochrane and we’re proud of the work we do for the town.”