Also in this section:

November 19, 2014

   |   Share This Story   

CUPE targets United Church for workers’ plight

NARAMATA –CUPE has filed an application to have the United Church and Naramata Centre recognized as a common employer.  The move comes as CUPE workers at the church’s retreat centre mark six months on the picket line.

CUPE National Servicing Representative Tom O’Leary says the union filed the application with the BC Labour Relations Board in a bid to bring the church to the bargaining table and take responsibility for its workers.  So far, the church has claimed that despite opening the centre as a designated church ministry and providing funding, it has no say in how the centre is run.  The retreat is one of four education centres owned by the United Church of Canada.

The strike by 30 unionized employees at Naramata Centre started after talks broke down in May and the centre tried to replace loyal, long-term staff with lower-paid, non-union positions.  A “business case” presented by the spiritual centre targeted food services, accommodation, facilities, housekeeping and grounds – the majority of the union bargaining unit’s work – for “outsourcing”.  

Speculation continues that the United Church wants to get rid of its union workforce at Naramata so it can more easily sell off the lakefront property – valued conservatively last year at around $6 million.  A 2013 report paid for by the church cites options including restructuring the centre’s mounting debt, refinancing or permanently closing and selling the centre.  Most of the programming at the centre has been cancelled since May.

“The United Church has the moral and fiscal responsibility and the resources to resolve this,” says O’Leary, adding  “The United Church has a long-held reputation for fighting for respect and rights for workers – principles that should certainly be applied to its own employees at Naramata.”


Related News

Township of Langley Arenas brought back in-house

Apr 13, 2016

TOWNSHIP OF LANGLEY- CUPE 403 is proud to announce that after nearly 20 years two arenas in the Township of Langley will once again be operated in-house. more...

CUPE 15 urges public to stand up for public education

Apr 12, 2016

VANCOUVER - The Vancouver School Board is considering permanent closure of 12 to 13 schools in order to balance their budget. The BC Liberal government more...

Community Social Services: New agreement on portability and retention reached

Apr 08, 2016

Earlier this year, an agreement was reached that could allow union members covered by the Community Social Services (CSS) General Services, Community Living more...

Sooke Wastewater Services to be delivered in-house

Apr 08, 2016

SOOKE – The District of Sooke has voted unanimously to end their contract with for-profit contractor EPCOR and bring wastewater services in-house. Sooke more...

Click here for the archive