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VANCOUVERCUPE bargaining committee members representing three striking CUPE locals (CUPE 15, CUPE 391 and CUPE 1004) are unilaterally lifting the media blackout on civic negotiations that commenced six days ago.

“We are lifting the media blackout because we believe it is our obligation to the public and our members who haven’t heard a word about what is going on for far too long,” says Mike Jackson, CUPE 1004 president. “The public deserves to know that if the city continues to stall like this that it will be a long time before the public sees their services restored and our members have an opportunity to return to work.”

All three CUPE locals commenced bargaining with the employer last weekend. They share identical stories of the city’s total refusal to bargain any issues of importance to the union, focusing primarily on employer demands and disregarding regional settlement patterns around wages, trades adjustments, benefits, improvements for auxiliaries, and pay equity, to name a few.

“The past six days have been déjà vu for CUPE 15,” says Paul Foaro, CUPE 15 president. “Last time we met with this employer they spent 2 hours and 22 minutes out of two days actually meeting with us. The rest of the time, they caucused amongst themselves. This time, it’s worse. Out of a possible six days, we spent 4 hours and 13 minutes with the employer.”

“We are extremely frustrated,” says Alex Youngberg, CUPE 391 president of Vancouver’s library workers. “The employer has clearly stated that they have no interest in negotiating any of our key issues, like pay equity. This is despite recently ratified pay equity gains made in Burnaby. We can’t reach a collective agreement with this kind of stonewalling.”

Announcement: CUPE local presidents to lift media blackout and inform public and CUPE members on complete lack of progress at bargaining table with the City of Vancouver

Location: Conference Room - Port of Vancouver Renaissance Vancouver Hotel Harbourside, 1133 West Hastings Street, Vancouver

Time: Thursday, August 9, 2007 5:45 p.m.

When the City of Vancouver and Vancouver Public Library Board are prepared to seriously address our issues, then CUPE is prepared to bargain anytime.

CUPE 15 represents 2,500 Vancouver inside civic workers who have been on strike since Monday, July 23, 2007.
CUPE 391 represents 800 striking Vancouver library workers who have been on strike since Thursday, July 26, 2007. This is their first strike in their 77-year history.
CUPE 1004 represents 2,000 striking Vancouver outside workers who have been on strike since Friday, July 20, 2007.

Contact: Diane Kalen, CUPE Communications, 778-229-0258