Mediated talks scheduled between union and city

Three days after striking CUPE workers escalated their job action to a full-scale strike, the city and the union will sit down for mediated talks.

This morning (May 15), the city and CUPE 402-01 representatives are set to sit down with a mediator and seek a resolution to the ongoing labour dispute.

So far, the dispute has seen all municipal buildings – save for city hall – shut down and services such as garbage collection and road works cease.

While the action began with rotating strike action, the union ramped up to full-scale strike action at the beginning of this week.

On Monday, city manager Dan Bottrill said they had proposed two dates for negotiations, which he heard the union refused.

However, CUPE 402-01 President Mike Guraliuk said they had not even heard the city had proposed dates, much less refused them.

“That is so not true, we have heard nothing from our mediator,” said Guraliuk Monday.

But by Wednesday, both sides seem to have come to an agreement, at least on when to meet.

Mayor Wayne Baldwin said he was hopeful a resolution would be found soon.

“I really hate to see our people out, hate to see the residents deprived of services,” he said. “These things do happen from time to time and we’ve been fortunate to go without it for many, many years but we will get through this, and I’m sure in the end it will all be fine.”

Bottrill shared Baldwin’s optimism, saying the city would get through this one way or another.

“I remain hopeful the union will come back to the table and we’re expecting the union to come back and bargain in good faith,” he said.