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The union representing Vancouver City and Park Board workers says that nearly two months after serving strike notice, the union is on the verge of commencing an all-out strike. Last week, members of Local 15 voted to reject the employers last offer.

Rick Gates, President of CUPE Local 15, says that unless Vancouver City Council gets involved in getting talks moving again, an all-out strike will begin this week.

At a time when the union is going out of its way to make proposals that address the concerns of both sides, the employer is actually backtracking on key proposals it has made, says Gates.

Weve done everything possible to avoid a strike. The mediation process didnt get us anywhere, and our escalating job actions havent brought a resolution to this dispute.

In its proposals for settlement, the union has made every possible effort to address our employers desire for greater flexibility while proposing a variety of measures that would address our members expectations of more flexible hours of work. Time after time, the citys bargaining committee has flatly rejected these proposals, refusing to even discuss them.

When the employer presented a new offer yesterday that included no provision whatsoever for earned days off, it became very clear to us that this bargaining committee isnt very serious about reaching a deal.

Gates says the union hopes to address Vancouver City Council today in the hopes of getting talks back on track, but that if council wont play a role in breaking the impasse, a full-blown strike will be the unions next move.

Certainly, the union doesnt want to go on strike, says Gates. Weve done everything possible at the bargaining table to avoid it. But a full-blown strike is the only place we have left to go unless the city gets serious about bargaining a settlement to this dispute.

For more information:
Rick Gates, 871-6036 or 879-4671
Jim Kirk, 291-1940 or 720-7905