Mar 15, 2011

Contract session a first for the Kootenays

CRANBROOK—CUPE members from municipalities throughout the Kootenays met this weekend in Cranbrook to review collective agreements and plan for municipal bargaining. The meeting, sponsored by the Kootenay District Labour Council (KDC), was the first time Kootenay municipal locals got together to compare contracts.

“I got a lot out of the session and learned about language that would benefit our members,” CUPE 2087 City of Trail chief shop steward Andy Chernoff said. “I’ll be taking this information back to my Local.”

Participants reviewed Kootenay-specific data prepared by CUPE National research staff from the Collective Agreement Information System (CAIS) that tracks contract language. The review generated good discussion about discrimination, harassment, health and safety, discipline/discharge and seniority.

“This was a great opportunity for Locals to discuss contract language,” said CUPE National Representative Lee-Anne Halifax.

CUPE National Representatives Robin Roff, Heather Inglis and Janet Szliske provided information and answered questions from Locals about privatization, political action and bargaining communication planning.

Presidents and vice-presidents from CUPE Locals 2262 (Castlegar), 2090 (Cranbrook), 3004 (Elkford), 2093 (Fernie), 4728 (Grand Forks), 2309 (Golden), 2450 (Nakusp), 339 (Nelson), 2254 (Regional District of Kootenay Boundary) and 2087 (Trail) attended the three-day event.

“We’re already planning our next meeting,” said KDC president Gerry Schmon. “I’d like to do this every two years.”

Municipal Coordinator Joe Badali attended the session and noted that participants were fully engaged in the discussion. Calling it “another worthwhile and impressive KDC event”, Badali says that it will provide a useful resource in upcoming negotiations.

View photos.

COPE 491