City of Castlegar issues press release re: potential strike
Castlegar city council convened a special in-camera meeting on Friday night, Oct. 3, to consider the union’s rejection of an independent mediator’s recommendations which, if accepted by the union, would have brought the current labour dispute to an end. CUPE Local 2262 previously rejected the city’s final offer and implemented strike action in the form of an overtime ban. The union had previously booked out the mediator before returning for a second round of mediated negotiations.
The mediator’s recommendations, which City Council voted on Sept. 30 to accept, included a 6.14-per-cent increase over four years, no concessions and all of the generous benefits improvements offered to the union in the city’s July-15 final offer. These include an increase in extended health benefits coverage from $1,000 a year to $1,500 a year for paramedical services over the course of the agreement as well as optical care coverage rising from $400 to $600 every two years upon ratification.
Mayor Chernoff states that council remains firm in their belief that, “We feel that our offer and then the mediator’s recommendations are fair offers. Council does not believe that the current situation can go on indefinitely and council will continue to consider options as time progresses.”
In the case of a full blown strike or lockout, all city facilities including City Hall, Civic Works, the Fire Hall and RCMP Detachment will remain open and service will continue to be provided by non-unionized staff. Staff will endeavour to provide prompt customer service to residents, businesses and visitors.