PORT ALBERNI – CUPE Local 118 workers at the Alberni-Clayoquot Regional District have given their bargaining team a 90% strike mandate. Before taking any job action, the local would file 72-hour strike notice with the BC Labour Relations Board.
The vote was taken at a CUPE Local 118 membership meeting on bargaining held last night in Port Alberni. The CUPE bargaining committee is slated to meet with the district tomorrow and Friday for mediated talks in a union-led effort to reach a negotiated settlement.
CUPE National Servicing Representative Casey Thomson says the main outstanding issue is wages. “We have been meeting with the district since June, and have made progress on several contract issues,” says Thomson. “We are hoping that we can wrap this up with the help of a mediator and without the need for job action.”
CUPE Local 118 President Stacy Watton says her members “are looking for a deal in line with recent contract settlements in neighbouring districts.”
“CUPE and the regional district have traditionally enjoyed an excellent relationship based on mutual respect and cooperation,” explains Watton. “We have never had a strike in the district and rarely even have grievances – we have always been able to work out any problems together. We are counting on that solid history to help us reach a fair settlement this time.”
CUPE 118 represents 21 inside and outside municipal workers at the Alberni-Clayoquot Regional District.