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November 29, 2013

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CUPE members vote down City’s last offer

PRINCE GEORGE – CUPE 399 and 1048 members have voted 82 percent in favour of rejecting the City’s last offer package. The vote, which was conducted by the BC Labour Relations Board, was conducted late this week and was done at the request of the City. The unofficial results were announced this afternoon and the Labour Board will confirm the final results Monday.

“The City thought that CUPE members would be willing to accept their last offer if they forced them to vote on it. It’s a scare tactic and a power play on their part,” says CUPE 399 president Gary Campbell. “Both locals have resoundingly rejected the employers last offer, predominately because members didn’t like being forced to vote on something that both parties hadn’t agreed to. They know that’s not how bargaining works and didn’t want to be bullied into accepting a subpar contract.”

“By voting ‘no’ our members have given us a strong mandate to go back to the table with, we hope that the City is prepared to negotiate a contract that is fair and reasonable for CUPE employees and the taxpayers of Prince George.”

CUPE 1048 president Janet Bigelow said that it’s time for the City to come to the table with a revised mandate so both parties can engage in meaningful negotiations.

“In the past month the City has been more interested in pursuing a public relations campaign that devalues civic workers than bargaining,” says Bigelow. “They’ve surveyed residents about negotiations, put out damaging press releases and plan to hire new communications staff – all tactics waging war on their own employees. This isn’t how bargaining is supposed to happen.”

Bigelow notes that both locals could still file their 72-hour strike notice as their strike mandate doesn’t expire until early December.

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