This Thursday September 5, CUPE Local 1282 held a press conference to denounce the ongoing lockout of 22 administrative workers imposed by the City of Bathurst.
“We are now at week 7 of the lockout. It appears that the City and Council are using this crisis to hide their mismanagement,” said Guy DeSilva, President of CUPE local 1282.
In July 2019, Bathurst Mayor, Paolo Fongemie, stated that the lockout was in the interest of citizens in order to “prevent tax increases” and fight the deficit.
In less than two weeks of lockout, the City could have met the workers’ wage demands without generating any new costs. After 6 full weeks, the City has already denied multiple times that amount (over $174,000 in payroll and benefits) to its own workers.
“Offering inside workers cost of living-plus wages would in no way generate tax increases for Bathurst. Saying otherwise does not make any sense. Is this simply a cover up from basic mismanagement?,” wonders DeSilva.
If the deficit is the problem, CUPE Local 1282 demands clear answers to these questions :
- Why did the Council vote itself a sizeable wage increase?
- Why did the Mayor approve 8 costly new management positions?
- Why did The Mayor also approve a 2.5% wage increase for upper management?
- Why does Bathurst now have close to double the number of management positions than the comparably sized city of Miramichi?
“Using a lockout to artificially solve a deficit is misleading for citizens, it disrupts the delivery of front-line services to the public and it is disrespectful towards city workers. It is a clear demonstration of bad priority setting, and that is never a winning strategy in the long run, ” concluded Guy Desilva.