IROQUOIS FALLS, Ont. – The union representing thirty-five office, public works, water works and recreation staff at the Town of Iroquois Falls, has received a 92 per cent strike mandate from members of Local 259 of the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE), after Town management demanded a long list of concessions, staff cuts and a wage rollback in contract negotiations.
“We want to continue providing the important services Iroquois Falls residents rely on,” said Gregg Peever, president of CUPE 259. “It is reckless for Council to demand wage rollbacks and concessions from frontline workers, and cut positions, after awarding two per cent increases to management and non-union staff.”
“Our members have delivered a strong strike mandate in the face of this unprecedented attack on their working conditions and services,” said CUPE National Representative Lisa Steenerson. “We hope to reach a settlement at the table, but this attack on services and working conditions by Town Council and management is unprecedented and on a level that will hurt services and the Town’s economy.”
The Town’s proposed cuts include eliminating two positions, a wage roll-back of fifty cents an hour in the first year, followed by wage freezes for three years, contract language changes to eliminate full-time positions and convert more work to casual positions, cuts to benefits and vacation, attacks on employment security, seniority rights, overtime, hours of work and scheduling, and other concessions.
“We are urging residents to contact their local Council members and the Mayor,” said Peever. “We are committed to delivering the best quality services to the public, and all we are looking for is a show of fairness from management to reach a reasonable contract at the bargaining table.”
CUPE members voted in favour of a strike mandate, to defend their collective agreement and public services against rollbacks and cutbacks proposed by the Town. CUPE negotiators have requested the assistance of a provincial conciliator, and hope to reach a negotiated settlement, without a strike or lockout. Conciliation talks have been scheduled for May 9 and 10.
For further information, please contact:
Lisa Steenerson, CUPE National Representative, 705-264-1269
Robert Lamoureux, CUPE National Representative, 905-739-3999, 416-993-1063 (mobile)