Union calls city of Vancouver to table tomorrow –10:30 a.m. at 545 West 10th Ave
VANCOUVER – Today, the 2,500 civic workers at Vancouver City Hall, Park Board, Ray-Cam Cooperative Association and Britannia Community Services Society overwhelmingly rejected what the City of Vancouver is calling their “final offer” by 89 per cent. As a last resort, the Local representing the workers, CUPE 15, will be issuing 72-hour strike notice tomorrow morning at 8:00 a.m.
CUPE 15 is also calling on the City of Vancouver to avert a city and escalating region-wide strike by going back to the table to negotiate, booking their meeting rooms at 545 West 10th Avenue in Vancouver at 10:30 a.m. for that purpose.
“We’re not surprised,” says Paul Faoro, CUPE 15 President, of the final offer vote results. “It shows the degree to which civic workers are aghast at the City of Vancouver and Bureau’s total refusal to engage in legitimate bargaining and sends a clear message to the City that they need to get back to the bargaining table.”
“We are always ready to negotiate,” says Faoro. “The difficulty is the City of Vancouver has refused to bargain from day one. They only want to impose and dictate their mandate, completely ignoring the concerns of city employees.”
Vancouver inside workers are seeking to improve treatment of part-time and auxiliary staff, address the serious concern of contracting out and privatization of public civic services, equal vacation time with non-union staff, and a fair wage proposal. None of these issues have been addressed by the employer at the bargaining table. Rather a number of invasive management rights and take-aways are being demanded of the workers.
Faoro points to a troubling pattern in Lower Mainland civic bargaining where employers with the direction of the GVRD Labour Relations Bureau (“Bureau”) refuse to make progress at municipal bargaining tables, force mediation, impose final offer votes and ultimately force workers on strike, potentially causing mass disruptions in vital civic services.
“We’re asking the City to bargain, not bully,” says Faoro. “If the City arrives at the table tomorrow with the intention to bargain, then a fair contract should be easily achievable.”
Like most Lower Mainland civic contracts, CUPE 15’s collective agreement expired over 6 months ago. Delta civic workers represented by CUPE 454 also voted down a final offer vote imposed on them by their employer along with the Bureau.
Contact: Paul Faoro, CUPE 15 President, (604) 202-1829
Diane Kalen, CUPE Communications, (778) 229-0258