Campbellton: The union representing the City of Campbellton outside workers, CUPE Local 76, is asking the Minister of Post-Secondary Education, Training and Labour to appoint a mediator in order to reach a collective agreement with its employer.
“Instead of threatening to lock us out and contracting out our jobs, we believe the City should return to the bargaining table to try to reach a collective agreement,” said George Parker, President of CUPE Local 76.
“We requested the appointment of a mediator last Friday and we hope the City will come back to the table instead of moving forward with a possible lock-out and contracting out of snow removal.”
“While we were in bargaining, in mid-September, the Employer published an invitation to tender for the snow removal. Ten days ago, the Mayor gave our union an ultimatum: accept the latest offer or snow removal will be contracted out for, not one, but three years and there could be a lock-out.”
“Our members were simply appalled by our Employer’s statement. It shows a total lack of respect for its employees. Why would the City pay a private contractor thousands of dollars for snow removal this winter when snow removal has always been done by city employees? We have all the equipment and the manpower. Where is the saving there?”
Parker says, “It seems that the City’s rational for contracting out snow removal is that the service would be maintained if the outside workers go on strike. Our members have never been on strike and our intention is to not do so. We have made that clear many times. Only once in our history, we were unable to provide the service to the residents of Campbellton. We were locked-out by the city it was more than 30 years ago!”
The stumbling blocks at the bargaining table are wages, retirement allowance and job security. CUPE Local 76 has been without a collective agreement since December 2013.