On April 17, members of the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE), Local 1761, municipal workers employed by the Town of Placentia, N.L., voted 100 per cent in favour of a strike.
“Now that the membership has voted in favour of going on strike the workers could go out at any time, if necessary, or be locked out by their employer,” said Ed White, CUPE national representative.
Fourteen of the 15 employees were in attendance, said the union.
“After we reviewed the employer’s latest offer, the members were understandably disappointed,” said Gerry Quilty, CUPE 1761 president. “The members are frustrated with what they see as unnecessary delays by the employer.”
“In this round of bargaining, the town hired outside consultants, who are not from Placentia, and requested a conciliator be appointed to the negotiations,” said White.
Historically, bargaining of a new contract between the municipal workers and their employer took place directly with town officials and the union’s bargaining committee. In 2012 and again in 2015, the two sides exchanged four proposals and completed negotiations in 19 weeks or less, said the union.
Eleven proposals have been exchanged and 46 weeks have passed, so far, since negotiations began in May 2018, according to CUPE.
CUPE 1761 represents 15 municipal workers employed as clerical staff, arena attendants, maintenance/water treatment operators, labourers and municipal enforcement officers.
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