Saturday, October 20, 2007

Now It's Time To Say Goodbye. . ,

# 199. The Last Post.

Ratification of the Library Workers contract by CUPE 391 Friday, October 19 and the VPL Board Saturday, October 20 marks the end of the second longest civic strike in Vancouver history.

I am no fan of the CITY or CUPE.

What should have been a 3 week strike degenerated into a 13 week grudge match.

The City with its:
  • initial & repeated "firm, final offers" (a tactic illegal under US Labour Law);
  • a 39 month contract offer (who negotiates during or just after an Olympics?);
  • reduced benefits;
  • the Mayor's misguided musings;
  • unwillingness to consider other Metro Vancouver library contracts;
generated an unheard of 90 - 96% Strike Mandate.

CUPE's hands are dirty too.
  • No Layoffs Due to Contracting Out;
  • Seniority before Merit for all Auxiliary Workers;
  • Treating the Olympics as just another work day;
  • Designating all Olympic sites as CUPE facilities;
These were non-negotiable and demonstrate a 1980's British coal miner mindset (remember the Arbutus Club.)

CUPE was right to push for dispute resolution systems that protect employees from self anointed messianic managers found in any organization. Certain disputes have been allowed to fester for 10 years. Now it's 7 months and binding arbitration is involved if necessary.

A mediator was required to break the deadlock.

Thankfully, 8 weeks into the strike, the City misplayed the labour code's Section 56 request for a Special Mediator. A civic strike is not special. Face saving motivated the City to enter "enhanced mediation." CUPE had been requesting such for the length of the strike.

The strike is over except for Mayor Sam Sullivan. He wants to bill the November 2008 civic election as CUPE vs SAM, The Final Knockout. It's sad really. After 3 years the Mayor has no policy achievements only a continual flow of wish list press releases.

CUPE did itself no favours at its second rally outside City Hall. Declaring that CUPE will work to defeat the Mayor, CUPE gift wrapped an election platform Mayor Sullivan is happily exploiting. 12 months, however, is an eternity in politics.

All the while Cambie Street businesses received no property tax relief and now 35% are closed. Businesses at Library Square received no rent relief. The City is the landlord.

As for this blog..,

I didn't realize anyone was reading until Saturday August 18 when I posted the videos from the Arbutus Club. Suddenly, I had 10 comments.

Total Comments: 575.

August 22 I learned about Google Analytics and Sitemeter. Now I could measure how many people were reading and how many pages were read.

August 22 - October 20, 2007
  • 5,471 Absolutely Unique Visitors
  • 10,453 Visits
  • 28,749 Page Views
  • 2.4 Avg. Pages / View
  • 4:14 Avg. Time on Site
Shaw and Telus were the most common domains.

Number 3 - The City of Vancouver.

  • 1051 Visits
  • 4:39 Avg. Time on Site
  • 2.91 Avg. Page / View
  • October 5th & 9th - Most Vists
Thanks to Walter Schultz, The Gazetteer, David Eaves, Beyond Robson, Urban Vancouver and Howe Street for the positive reviews and referrals to this blog.

Reading comments, for me, was the most enjoyable part of the blog. It definitely was not a one sided debate. Provocative, emotional and for the most part reasoned and well written.

Only 5 comments were rejected due to their flaming content.

Thank you for the comments, the support and most importantly for reading.

If there is a strike in 2012 I won't be with the City. 11 weeks provided the opportunity to develop a realistic business plan. It's been set in motion and one goal, unexpectedly, has already been reached.

It will be a great adventure.

So long, farewell, auf Wiedersehen, adieu,
Adieu, adieu, to yieu and yieu and yieu

So long, farewell, auf Wiedersehen, goodbye
I leave and heave a sigh and say goodbye -- Goodbye!

Friday, October 19, 2007

Library Workers Ratify Contract

It’s Official. The Library Board Ratifies Agreement

Bargaining Committee wrote this in the early morning:

Early this morning the Vancouver Public Library Board met and ratified the Memorandum of Agreement between CUPE Local 391, the Vancouver Public Library Workers and the Vancouver Public Library Board, the Employer. The five year contract covers the period January 1, 2007 to December 31, 2011.

CUPE 391’s members will be returning to work shortly to ensure that the public will be able to have access to their library system as soon as possible. Vancouver Public Library workers are eager to return to their jobs in public service that they love so much.


After 292 days without a contract and 89 days of strike action CUPE 391 - Library Workers voted:

YES: 71%

NO: 29%

Contract ratification means library staff return to work Monday Oct. 22nd and libraries will open Wednesday Oct. 24th.

Pay Equity Committee is included.
14. Joint Committee - Classification Issues
The Employer and the Union agree to establish a Joint Committee consisting of not more than three (3) representatives from each party to discuss classification issues. The primary purpose of the Committee shall be for each party to gain a better appreciation of the other party’s perspective on classification issues. The Committee shall meet periodically during 2007, 2008 and 2009 and shall cease to exist on 2009 December 31 unless both parties agree to extend it. The Committee shall automatically be removed from the Collective Agreement unless both parties specifically agree to renew it.

Memorandum of Understanding - CUPE 391 & Vancouver Public Library

Library strike ends: CUPE 391 makes important steps towards pay equity

[October 19, 2007 07:05 PM] CUPE

VANCOUVER—After 88 days on strike, CUPE 391 members have voted 71 per cent in favour of the tentative agreement reached yesterday between bargaining representatives of the library workers' union and the Vancouver Public Library (VPL). The VPL Board will be holding their ratification vote tomorrow morning.

The agreement was based on recommendations issued by mediator Brian Foley on October 5, 2007 but included adjustments that were vital for the union before the members could accept the deal. A primary adjustment was the addition of a joint-committee on classification issues whereby the union can express their pay equity concerns.

"We've been saying all along that we went out on strike on a principle," says CUPE 391 President Alex Youngberg, "now we're going back on a principle. We are going back knowing we have made important advances towards the long-term goal achieving pay equity and paved the way to make further advances in the future."

In addition to Foley's recommendations, the tentative agreement also includes the:

  • Inclusion of three more librarian positions into pay grade increases/wage adjustments.
  • Expansion of benefit coverage to include orthodics.
  • Improvements to the return to work agreement, including: maternity, paternity, adoption leave coverage; improvements on how to handle vacation upon return to work and extension of timeline on grievances.

"We are looking forward to working with our employer to fully restore public library services," says Youngberg. The library workers are expected to return to work as early as Wednesday, October 24, 2007.

"The public is encouraged to approach us in the library and ask us about pay equity. We'd be happy to tell you everything we know and point you to a book or two on the subject."

CUPE 391 represents 770 library workers employed by the Vancouver Public Library. This was their first strike in their 77-year history. It began on July 26, 2007.


Alexandra Youngberg, CUPE 391 President, 604-908-6095
Ed Dickson, CUPE 391 bargaining chair, 778-840-0207
Diane Kalen, CUPE Communications, 778-229-0258

Memorandum of Agreement between CUPE 391 and Vancouver Public Library

Canwest Preaches Competition

Today's Vancouver Sun editorial describes the new era of labour relations between Frank Stronach and the CAW and extols the virtues of competition. No argument from me there.

The irony is the Vancouver Sun, as well as, The Province, Courier, Metro, National Post and GlobalTV are owned by CANWEST GLOBAL Communications.

Hmmmm. The federal government should "Take Heed" and bring the current era of media monopolies to an end.

After all, where is the incentive to compete?


EXCERPT: Vancouver Sun - October 19, 2007

Take heed, Vancouver: A new era in labour relations is possible

After all, Vancouver has just endured one of the longest strikes by city workers in history and relations between the employer and the Canadian Union of Public Employees appear worse than when it began. Mayor Sam Sullivan predicts the next election will be a power struggle between his governing Non-Partisan Association Party and CUPE, rather than one of the opposition groups on council. The union, he says, hopes to install "a CUPE mayor."

The reason the common sense revolution that changed the dynamic between the CAW and Magna can't be repeated at the municipal level is that neither the city nor the union has to face competition.

There is nothing to temper union demands and only fear of a taxpayer revolt restrains the employer's willingness to accede to them.

There is no partnership between CUPE and the city. It is an antagonistic relationship in which the union is out to get as much as it can and local government's only concern is upsetting the citizenry to the point at which the governing authority is voted out of office. There is no discipline of profit, no goal of improving productivity, no expectation -- indeed, no intention -- of raising the quantity or quality of service.

Roughly 65 per cent of the city's budget is labour. As CUPE workers' pay goes up by nearly 19 per cent over the next five years (which is what the 17.5 per cent raise amounts to after compounding), citizens will provide the revenue to fund the increase through higher taxes. Taxpayers should not have to tolerate the withdrawal of services they have contracted and paid for.

It is time to reconsider the rules of public sector labour relations and ensure they also serve those who pay the bills.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Library Workers Vote Friday


CUPE 391 vote results to be announced at 7pm Friday

[October 18, 2007 09:24 PM] CUPE

VANCOUVER - Vancouver striking library workers represented by CUPE 391 will vote on Friday, October 19, 2007 to accept or reject a tentative agreement reached today. The union bargaining committee is recommending acceptance of the agreement.

If the deal is ratified, library workers could return to work restoring public library services in the city as early as Wednesday, October 24, 2007.

The details of the tentative agreement will not be released until the vote results are known. They are based on mediator Foley's recommendations, and include adjustments negotiated between the two parties over the past week.

CUPE 391 members will be voting from noon until 6pm on Friday at the Maritime Labour Centre at Victoria Drive & Triumph Street in Vancouver.

What: Announcement of CUPE 391 vote results on tentative agreement

Where: Outside CUPE 391 office, 545 West 10th Avenue, Vancouver

Time: 7pm

CUPE 391's 770 members have been on strike since July 26, 2007. This is the first strike in their 77 year history.

Contact: Diane Kalen, CUPE Communications, 778-229-0258


Bargaining Committee wrote this around lunchtime:

There will be a meeting and vote on the proposed Memorandum of Agreement tomorrow at the Maritime Labour Centre, 1880 Triumph Street (the same place we had our benefit concert). Please note that parking is limited and people are encouraged to take transit. The meeting will be from 10:30 am to 12 noon. Voting will take place thereafter until 6pm.

The information package will only be available at the meeting.

Travel, meeting and voting time will count towards approx. 2 hours picket duty. However, to complete a 4 hour shift, two hours will have to be covered at one of the picket sites. Please note that attendance only at this meeting will NOT count as an automatic four hour shift like the last meeting. If you start or end your shift there you can sign in/out at the Centre. Otherwise, sign in and out at your picket location. Picketing will be at Central from 7-5 and Britannia from 8-4. Coffee and pizza will be provided at both sites around 1:00.

Your pay cheques will be available for pick up at the Centre from 10:00 - 4:00.

Library and union confirm tentative deal; libraries open Wednesday at earliest

VANCOUVER (NEWS1130) - The Vancouver Public Library and CUPE Local 391 have confirmed a tentative agreement to end the strike by Vancouver library workers. The union says the deal includes modifications to mediator Brian Foley's recommendations presented on October 5th.

The media blackout in place since Tuesday will continue until the library's 770 members vote Friday on the agreement. The Library Board will vote if the membership of CUPE 391 ratifies the agreement. If both parties ratify, library staff will return to work on Monday and library branches will be open to the public on Wednesday at the earliest.

Local 391 is the last of three CUPE locals to settle with the city. Inside and outside workers are already back on the job.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Library Vote this Weekend?

Frances Bula, Vancouver Sun

Published: Wednesday, October 17, 2007

VANCOUVER - Vancouver's striking library workers and management have reached a tentative agreement, after a strike that began July 26 focused on better pay for the mainly female employees.

The agreement is consistent with recommendations made by mediator Brian Foley, but have been slightly modified, according to a private memo.

The two sides have not formally signed the agreement. Once they do, a ratification vote will be set, likely Friday or Saturday.

Today marks the 84th day of the library workers' strike. There is a blackout on all details about the agreement.

Library workers voted 78.1 per cent last week against Foley's recommendations for settlement, saying they didn't address the issue of pay equity that was a main concern for them.

The union, Canadian Union of Public Employees Local 391, originally asked for a bump up the pay grade for the city's most senior librarians and a committee that would compare library work, a female-dominated profession, with city workers in male-dominated jobs doing work of equivalent complexity to see if there were pay inequities that should be leveled out.

Instead, Foley proposed giving several of the top classifications of library workers, about 300 of the 775, a bump up the pay grade. That amounted to $600,000 a year in increases. He said it was better to give them money now than spend months with a committee.

Foley also included in his proposals a new lower-paid category than what now exists for shelvers. But library workers said they wanted to take the money Foley was prepared to give, and which both city council and the library board agreed to, and spread it around among all 775 workers. They were also opposed to the new classification at the lower pay rate.

Library managers countered that spreading the money around would mean top librarians would end up earning less than other top librarians in the district, which was not really pay equity.

The library workers' strike is their first in 77 years. They were the last of three city unions to go on strike, after the inside workers went out July 20 and the outside workers July 23.

Foley was finally brought in in September, after weeks of failed and no negotiations, to come up with non-binding resolutions for all three unions.

The inside workers voted in favour of Foley's recommendations by 73 per cent, and returned to work Oct. 11, after an 81-day strike.

The outside workers voted 58 per cent in favour at the same time, but it wasn't enough because their local rules require a two-thirds majority. Three days later, after the resolutions were "tweaked" with some improved benefits and language on certain issues, the outside workers came to a tentative agreement and then voted to accept with an 88-per-cent majority Sunday, ending an 86-day strike.

All three unions get a 17.5-per-cent increase over five years, with a $1,000 signing bonus for full-time employees.
CKNW is reporting a possible settlement between CUPE 391 and the City.
Oct, 17 2007 - 4:30 PM

VANCOUVER/CKNW(AM980) - Librarians and the city have reached a tentative contract agreement.

The city of Vancouver and striking Cupe local 391 members - librarians - have reached a tentative agreement on a new contract.

The tentative deal is pretty well consistent with mediator Brian Foley’s recommendations a few weeks back with some minor modifications.

A ratification vote will take place either Friday or Saturday.

It looks like the bargaining committee will recommend acceptance.

City libraries could be open by Monday.

CUPE 391 (LIBRARY WORKERS) is sticking to the media blackout, regardless of the media leak, but are reporting on the their blog that the bargaining committee is going to the Central library for a crew talk tomorrow morning.

Media Leak

Bargaining Committee wrote this mid-afternoon:

As you may know, there have been a number of stories in the media late this afternoon regarding the state of bargaining.

The Bargaining Committee will be coming down to the Central Library tomorrow morning for a crew talk. We are very sorry that we are unable to discuss anything further as we are technically still under a media blackout at this time. We apologize for all the confusion that this has caused.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Library Talks - Media Blackout

Media Blackout in Effect

Bargaining Committee wrote this in the early afternoon:

Please note, a media blackout is now in place until further notice.

Thank you.

Media blackout in effect as library workers meet with employer

As of 2pm today, CUPE 391 and the Vancouver Public Library, City of Vancouver and Metro Vancouver Labour Relations Bureau have agreed to a media blackout as the parties would like to remain focused on talks, which are underway. [October 16, 2007 02:00 PM]


Paul Whitney, Special to the Sun

Published: Tuesday, October 16, 2007

After 11 weeks of strike and recommendations for the most lucrative settlement of the three striking Vancouver civic workers' unions, the board and management of the Vancouver Public Library are deeply disappointed that library workers are not heading back to work and library services have not been restored for the residents of Vancouver.

Since rejecting the recommendations of Brian Foley, one of the most experienced and respected mediators in British Columbia, CUPE Local 391 has claimed that his proposal does little to address the union's key issue, pay equity.

Foley recommended one-pay-grade wage adjustments for 337 employees as a way to address some job market equity issues. He declined the union's request for a committee to study pay equity, which could meet for years before employees receive any wage increases and could also result in pay decreases. The Regina Public Library negotiated pay equity with its union and for four years both sides have been discussing the issue. Workers have yet to see any wage adjustments.

CUPE 391, which represents 770 library employees, says instead it would like to take the funding for these wage adjustments to provide increases for all staff. This is not pay equity. This is turning a 17.5-per-cent wage increase into a 19.5-per-cent wage increase over five years. In addition to the 17.5-per-cent salary increase over five years, the wage adjustments recommended by Foley add more than two per cent to the library payroll.

Since bargaining began last December, the union has raised pay equity as its members' major issue. The problem is that it has continually redefined the term, often erroneously, by mixing issues of internal, market and employment equity under the umbrella of pay equity. Claiming there is pay inequity at the Vancouver Public Library is easier and simpler than explaining to taxpayers you want a greater wage increase than has been negotiated not just with the other two Vancouver unions, but throughout Metro Vancouver.

Vancouver Public Library and the City of Vancouver, the library's major funder, not only endorse the principles of pay equity, we also practise them. The current job evaluation system consistently results in upgrading for the majority of positions reviewed.

In order to respond to issues raised by CUPE 391, the city and library thoroughly reviewed and compared city and library job classifications and reconfirmed there is no gender inequity in workplaces funded by the city.

Making arguments under the guise of pay equity, the union has compared library jobs to inside and outside city positions and to jobs in other jurisdictions, as close as Burnaby and as far away as Toronto. It is important to examine what some of these comparisons actually mean:

- The union has claimed that an entry-level city labourer earns more than an entry-level library worker without acknowledging that some of the pay difference is because labourers work five hours more a week, labourers have only one hourly rate and do not advance in their positions as frequently or quickly as library workers, and their work conditions differ substantially.

- The union believes that librarians should earn the same as other professionals employed by the city who have masters degrees. A person's level of education is only one of the factors in determining appropriate compensation. Levels of responsibility, supervising staff and consequences of decisions must also be considered.

- On numerous occasions, the union has explained that librarians in Toronto are paid 23 per cent more per hour more than librarians in Vancouver because Ontario has pay-equity legislation and B.C. does not. The factor here is market equity, not pay equity. The union has not publicized that city planners in Toronto make 18 per cent more than those in Vancouver. And pay equity is not an issue as book shelvers in Toronto earn 42-per -cent less than VPL staff currently shelving books and 33 per cent less than the wage set by Foley for the new book shelver classification.

It is the responsibility of the library board and management to ensure that a negotiated settlement is fair to our employees, our major funder (the city) and to taxpayers.

Paul Whitney is the city librarian.

Pre-Election Posturing 02

Chantal Eustace, Vancouver Sun

Published: Monday, October 15, 2007

Mayor Sam Sullivan said Monday he expects to run next year's mayoral election against the Canadian Union of Public Employees.

Sullivan told The Vancouver Sun's editorial board he thinks this summer's civic strikes were about who runs the city and that the fight will extend to next year's elections.

"They wanted to see a CUPE mayor running city council," Sullivan said of the three CUPE locals that went on strike.

He added that he expects to run against "a CUPE candidate" next fal

"This strike will not be truly resolved until Nov. 15, 2008," Sullivan said. "I think the battle lines are drawn and it will be an interesting year. . ,"

Monday, October 15, 2007

Jurassic Park Board Dinosaur Meeting Oct 23rd

Letter from Park Commissioner Spencer Herbert.

Hi there,

I am writing to you today as I've just been alerted that the proposal to put 25 to 30 large robotic dinosaurs into Stanley Park will be debated by the Park Board earlier than expected. The "Dinosaur Experience" will be discussed at the Planning Committee on Tuesday October 23rd. The Planning Committee will be recommending whether or not this proposal should continue to the full board for approval.
Articles with more detail can be found here:

I think it is vital that the public let the Planning Committee, and Park Board know what they feel about a Jurassic Stanley Park.

The meeting is at 7PM on Tuesday October 23rd and will be held at 2099 Beach Avenue in the west end of Vancouver. To address the committee you need to sign up by Monday the 22nd at 12 noon which you can do by phoning 604-257-8451, or emailing If you are unable to come to speak it is vital that you email the board your thoughts. An email can be directed to,,,,,,

If you are as concerned about this proposal as I am, and don't believe robotic dinosaurs are the right fit for Stanley Park please forward this message to your contacts, and urge them to let the Park Board know what they think.

I hope to hear from you soon,

Spencer Herbert
Park Commissioner
Vancouver Board of Parks and Recreation

Jurassic Park Board - 01

  • Request for Proposals / Dinosaur Alternatives
  • Park Board Management's Jurassic Treatment of Community Centres
Jurassic Park Board - 02
  • The Rationale
  • Pete McMartin's story tracing genesis of Jurassic exhibit proposal.
Jurassic Park Board - 03
  • Dinosaurs Unearthed - website
  • Toronto Zoo Exhibit Video

Library Worker Update

CUPE 391 and employer meet to make adjustments to Foley's recommendations

[October 15, 2007 05:04 PM] CUPE

Representatives of CUPE 391 met with representatives of the Vancouver Public Library and Metro Vancouver Labour Relations Bureau today to discuss adjustments to mediator Brian Foley's recommendations, which were rejected by 78.1 per cent of the membership last Tuesday.

While a tentative agreement has not yet been reached, further discussions are expected to take place between the parties.

Vancouver's 800 library workers have been on strike since July 26, 2007.

Mediator Foley's recommendations and previously agreed to items.


Alexandra Youngberg, CUPE 391 President, 604-908-6095
Ed Dickson, CUPE 391 bargaining chair, 604-322-4879
Diane Kalen, CUPE Communications, 778-229-0258

Man walk postponed, some of the support we’ve been getting, and more

Janis wrote this in the late afternoon:

Man walk postponed
The man walk has been postponed until further notice. A lot of us have been excited about this one–please watch the blog for a new date and time, and keep practicing those Windsor knot-tying skills! (Note that the Kitsilano lunch is still moved to Wednesday this week–it was originally rescheduled to accommodate this special event.)

Pickets at Dunbar tomorrow
We’ll be picketing from 8-4 tomorrow (Tuesday). And see below:

Pickets taken down at JF and Kerrisdale
We are very pleased for our brothers and sisters in CUPE 15 and 1004 who have returned to work. Because Kerrisdale and Joe Fortes are shared facilities, we have taken these pickets down. Our members in both locations have done an amazing job of creating public awareness and building relationships with our colleagues in the community centres, as well as setting up high-functioning picket sites and all-round good places for our members to be during these difficult times. The Job Action coordinators want to thank all these members for their hard work during the strike.

CUPE 391 President and others at CUPE National
Every two years CUPE National holds its convention, and that’s where Alex (our president), Inder (chair of the hardship committee), Randy (one of our job action coordinators), and Aili (member at large) are right now, talking with CUPE members from across Canada. Many other locals have already sent donations and other kinds of support, and we are very happy–and proud–to be members of this powerful organisation.

More Support
We don’t always hear about the donations and messages of support we continue to receive from the public and fellow workers. It is very exciting–and inspiring–to hear that our sisters and brothers in the BC Teachers’ Federation have donated more than $80,000 to help members in 15, 391 and 1004. Thank you, teachers! We’ll report more details as soon as we can.

A reminder that when passers-by ask how they can support us, we can direct them to our website and the online petition. If every one of our supporters forwards the petition to friends and colleagues, we can really get the word out!

D’Arcy has also heard from Ann Seidl, the director of Hollywood Librarian, who called to tell us about her support for our cause. She is going to allow us to screen the film so that we can raise funds, and will even fly up from Wisconsin for interviews. We have booked The Rio (on Broadway) for Saturday November 3rd. Watch this space for more details, and see the Hollywood Librarian website for more information about “the first full-length documentary film to focus on the work and lives of librarians.” (Check out the gorgeous stills from Desk Set!)

And just as D’Arcy was updating Britannia staff today, a man came by and gave us a little speech. He said that he has always loved libraries, but that he “didn’t realise librarians had so much guts” for sticking it out. He urged us to go on fighting for our cause. It’s good to hear!

Pre-Election Posturing

The gloves are off and the Vancouver civic election campaign is underway. Only 13 months to go.

The defining issue - which side of the strike you are on.

NPA will claim that Vision and COPE would have settled the strike earlier because they would have given everything away.

COPE and Vision will argue bad faith bargaining on the part of the NPA council. They will point to Mayor Sullivan and Elizabeth Ball as the key culprits.

Finally, after listening to Mayor Sullivan on the Bill Good show it would appear the only person impacted by the strike was him. His agenda was set back etc.

If anyone was hoping for peace, reconciliation or the end to civic silly season it appears that acrimony, blame and mud slinging still rule the day.

Vancouver Garbage Pick Up Schedule

Collection Schedule for Garbage, Recycling and Yard Trimmings

Collection Schedule for 2007, January and February 2008

The schedules shown below are for garbage, recycling (blue box) and yard trimmings collected by City crews at single family, duplex and small apartments and townhouses. Garbage and recycling are collected every week. Yard trimmings are collected every second week, on the same day as your garbage and recycling.

How to Use the Schedule

In order to accommodate bi-weekly yard trimmings collection there are 2 collection schedules: the “North Schedule” and the “South Schedule”. The schedule you will use will depend on where you live.

We have provided 2 different formats for the garbage/recycling/yard trimmings collection schedule: an html format (shows the pickup days for your coloured zone only) and a pdf file which shows the schedule and map for all zones.

Instructions to view/download schedules:

  1. Click on either the North map or the South map to find out what schedule to use.
    Map - Go to the North Schedule page Map - Go to the South Schedule page
  2. Once you are at the correct map follow the prompts and download the collection schedule in the preferred format.

Confused? Call the City's Garbage and Recycling Hotline at 604-326-4600 for assistance or e-mail us at

1004 Back to Work

CUPE workers look forward to returning to the job
Oct, 14 2007 - 11:20 PM

VANCOUVER/CKNW(AM980) - CUPE 10-04 members outside the voting station at the Maritime Labour Centre say they're happy to be going back to work.

Tony Rego is a sewer worker. He says the strike should never have lasted this long, "It should have been just a work-to-rule process. Basically, this should never have transpired. We should never have come to this point."

"So, how do you prevent something like this in the future?"

"Maybe, perhaps, a stronger Executive Board, a stronger presence of a strong mandate from our membership. We need more representation."

Rego says many 10-04 members feel the same way.


Oct, 14 2007 - 11:10 PM

VANCOUVER/CKNW(AM980) - Parks staff will be returning to their jobs. The Park Board's Joyce Courtney says some preparation is needed in getting the City's parks up and running, "We're going to basically take a day to assess staff availability and prepare some of our sites and services for reopening in the next day or two."

Some of that preparation involves the City's golf courses, "Langara, McLeary and Fraserview and all the pitch and putts. We're going to be taking a look at Bloedell Conservatory, van Dusen Gardens and the sports fields."

CUPE Library Update

Bargaining Update

Bargaining Committee wrote this mid-afternoon:

In an effort to keep you as up to date as possible, we wanted to let you know that we are continuing to meet with the Employer. Tomorrow afternoon representatives from the Bargaining Committee will once again be speaking with representatives from the Library, Metro Vancouver (formerly the GVRD), and the City of Vancouver.

Please keep checking the blog for any further updates. Thanks so much.


[October 14, 2007 05:07 PM]

[CUPE] Since Lower Mainland civic and library bargaining began last year, CUPE has negotiated and ratified 16 separate collective agreements with employers in the region. There are 10 contracts remaining, including an on-going strike of almost 800 Vancouver Public Library workers that began on July 26, 2007.

On Strike: CUPE 391 expecting to meet with employer to make adjustments to Foley's recommendations.

CUPE 391 (Vancouver public library workers), 800 workers
Contact: Alexandra Youngberg, CUPE 391 President, c: 604-908-6095

Municipalities where agreements have yet to be negotiated:

CUPE 386 (Coquitlam city workers), 826 workers
Contact: Jim Gorman, CUPE National Representative, c: 778-846-6100

CUPE 387 (New Westminster city workers), 400 workers
Contact: Rob Limongelli, CUPE National Representative, c: 778-773-1273

CUPE 403 (Langley Township workers), 500 workers
Contact: Susan Jansen, CUPE National Representative, c: 604-751-6543

CUPE 498 (City of Port Coquitlam), 279 workers
Contact: Jamie Arden, CUPE 498 President, c: 604-908-1498

CUPE 622 (Maple Ridge district workers), 325 workers
Contact: Susan Jansen, CUPE National Representative, c: 604-751-6543

CUPE 622 (Pitt Meadows city workers), 40 workers
Contact: Susan Jansen, CUPE National Representative, c: 604-751-6543

CUPE 2058 (Langley city workers), 150 workers
Contact: Susan Jansen, CUPE National Representative, c: 604-751-6543

Libraries that have yet to negotiate new contracts:

CUPE 561 (Coquitlam Public Library), 80 workers
Contact: Jim Gorman, CUPE National Representative, c: 778-836-6100

CUPE 3966 (Richmond Public Library), 150 workers
Contact: Jim Gorman, CUPE National Representative, 778-836-6100

Sunday, October 14, 2007

CUPE 1004 - 83% Yes

Garbage strike ends: CUPE 1004 ratifies overwhelmingly

[October 14, 2007 04:49 PM]

VANCOUVER - A year after negotiations first began and after 88 days on strike, CUPE 1004 members finally have a contract and one that the members have overwhelmingly ratified (85% in City; 81% in Parks) in a vote today, Sunday October 14, 2007.

"We're excited to have a fair contract that we can be proud of," says CUPE 1004 President Mike Jackson. "This contract will help retain skilled employees and attract new ones. This is beneficial for the workers, but it is also beneficial to the City and the public that requires quality public services."

CUPE 1004 members voted today on a tentative agreement that was reached Friday between the union and the City after Foley's recommendations did not pass the local union's two-thirds majority test. The final contract is based on the recommendations, but also includes items that were "tweaked" by the two parties, including:

* Improved benefit coverage - acupuncture has been added to the list of items covered and employees will receive complete benefit coverage after their first month of employment rather than after their sixth month.

* A joint committee to address the assignment of overtime was established.

* The Olympic partnership agreement was adjusted to include an expedited dispute resolution process and system for assigning Olympic work.

* Areas of feasibility (horticulture, golf courses, sanitation) were identified for consideration by the compressed work week committee.

* Return to work agreement includes extension of time limit to return from 10 days to 14 days.

* Grievances will no longer be deemed abandoned after 90 days.

The workers will begin returning to work on Monday, October 15, 2007.

"We are looking forward to getting back to work," says Jackson, "and appreciate the patience and support we have received from the public as they have done without regular garbage, parks and street services for almost three months now."

Jackson is still uncertain how many CUPE 1004 members will ultimately return to their city jobs, since so many found alternate employment during the strike. However, they do have two weeks, which should allow those who are working time to give adequate notice. He is encouraging his members to return to work for the City of Vancouver, saying the contract is a fair one and vowing he will work with the employer to improve management-employee relations, which have been hurt by the strike and tensions leading up to it.


CUPE 1004 has two different contracts, one with the City of Vancouver (approx. 1200 workers in water, sewage, street repairs, garbage collection) and the other with the Vancouver Board of Parks and Recreation (approx. 700 workers in sanitation, grass mowers, gardeners, outdoor lifeguards, etc.).

For more information, please contact:

Mike Jackson, CUPE 1004 President, 778-908-8070
Diane Kalen, CUPE Communications, 778-229-0258


Back to work

The deal ends 88 days of labour strife


Published: Sunday, October 14, 2007
Garbage collection is set to resume in Vancouver Monday after the city's outside workers ratified a tentative agreement Sunday, after an almost three-month long strike.

Canadian Union of Public Employees Local 1004 members voted 85 per cent at the city and 81 per cent at the park board in favour of the "tweaked" agreement, which provides the 1,800 garbage collectors, street crew and parks workers with a 17.5-per cent wage increase over five years.

It also improves some of the contract language to give employees more certainty about benefits for new hires and about dispute-resolution mechanisms for the 2010 Olympic sites.

The union executive had recommended members accept the revised deal.


Garbage strike is over in Vancouver

VANCOUVER (NEWS1130) - Union leader Mike Jackson says regularly scheduled pick up will happen tomorrow and extra trucks with be brought out to handle the extra bags. He's hoping that a combination of the automated and old style trucks won't mean much of a delay.

Many workers will not come back to work because they've found other jobs.

More than 80 percent of members agreed to deal which was based on the mediators recommendations.

The city is asking people to hang onto their recyclables and yard trimmings for the first two weeks but you will be able to put out up to six bags of waste.

The landfill and transfer station will also be open but long lines and delays are expected.

Around 800 library workers are still off the job.

CUPE 1004 Vote Result @ 5:30

CUPE 1004 media availability today: 5:30pm at Maritime Labour Centre

[October 14, 2007 01:42 PM]

CUPE 1004 President Mike Jackson will be available at 5:30pm at the Maritime Labour Centre, where the vote is taking place today, to comment on the results of the vote on the tentative agreement between the union and the City of Vancouver. CUPE 1004 has recommended ratification.

Location: Maritime Labour Centre, 1880 Triumph Street, Vancouver

Time: 5:30pm - 6:30pm

Date: Sunday, October 14, 2007

Please be advised that a press release will be issued as soon as the CUPE 1004 vote results have been tabulated.

Details of tentative agreement.

Christy Clark on the CUPE strike

Sunday October 14, 2007

Christy Clark, Special to The Province

Published: Sunday, October 14, 2007

The thing I dislike most about the way the media cover politics is their unrelenting focus on who's winning and who's losing the public-relations war. Meantime, the substance of what's at stake goes unexamined.

That explains the coverage of Vancouver's civic strike.

There was lots of talk of who was up and who was down. But only occasionally did we see any analysis of the real issues.

That approach may also explain why the various pundits have almost unanimously declared CUPE the loser as this silly strike grinds to its inevitable end.

They weren't paying attention.

First, CUPE wasn't the only loser in the battle for hearts and minds. The city lost, too. The union's overriding public-relations objective was to do some damage to Mayor Sam Sullivan. They took a beating, but they also succeeded in tarnishing Sullivan.

The second important fact is that CUPE members are walking away from this strike with an extra 17.5 per cent over five years. They have improved protection from contracting out. Plus, there's a $1,000 signing bonus to sweeten the deal.

It's true that Vancouver isn't the only municipality coughing up 17.5 per cent. Most of the rest caved for the same amount. But Vancouver employs the highest number of CUPE members of any city. It also has among the smallest proportion of its services contracted out to the private sector. That makes the settlement in Vancouver the costliest of any in the Lower Mainland.

And what does the city get out of the deal? According to mediator Brian Foley's report, some language in the new agreement gives it "reasonable room to move."

It will also improve vacation benefits for some new CUPE members. And, wait for it: the citizens of Vancouver get labour peace. Gee, thanks.

If those facts don't make it plain who won, consider what other public-sector unions got from a provincial government that's flush with money. The teachers' union got 16 per cent over five years. The BCGEU got 10 per cent over four years -- measly by comparison.

The pundits can grouse all they want about CUPE; for those of us who live in the city, it's quite clear who won -- the union.

It's ironic that CUPE's leaders initially failed to see what they had accomplished. Two out of the three of them at first rejected the mediator's recommendations. They got so caught up in the battle that they failed to see their victory. It didn't last, because at the end of the day, it's all about the money.

Ultimately, CUPE's leadership doesn't care a fig about who wins the PR skirmishes. Unions, especially public-sector ones, are used to losing in the court of public opinion. They don't care much about it because it doesn't add a cent to the bottom line.

Five years from now, no one will remember who got the best headlines. In contract negotiations nothing really matters except the cash. In this deal, it's CUPE that's laughing -- all the way to the bank.

Friday, October 12, 2007

CUPE 1004 Voting Info

Ratification Vote will be held Sunday, October 14th from 8am to 4pm

Information meeting at 10am
- Maritime Labour Centre Auditorium

Bargaining Committee is recommending acceptance!
Results of the vote should be available Sunday between 7:00 and 8:00pm.

The tweaking of the mediator's original offer dealt with inconsistencies between the CUPE 15 contract and the 1004 contract. The 2010 Partnership agreement for each union had different dispute resolution mechanisms. 1004 still had a 6 month process in place while 15's was only 30 days.

1004 positions are subject to overtime (winter road salt and sanding, clearing drains of leaves in fall, paving, sewage connects etc.) yet no formalized system existed to deal with overtime. It had been ad hoc.

Compressed work weeks do get people upset, however, in sanitation, horticulture and golf course maintenance the longer days actually result more tasks being accomplished in a work week.

All in all a good deal for 1004.

Vancouver outside workers to vote on tentative deal Sunday
Last Updated: Saturday, October 13, 2007 | 1:17 AM ET

Vancouver Province

Outside workers vote on deal today

CUPE 1004 Recommends Yes Vote

CUPE 1004 and City successfully "tweak" Foley's recommendations: Tentative agreement

[October 12, 2007 03:28 PM]

Tentative agreement to be voted on by union on Sunday

VANCOUVER - CUPE 1004 President Mike Jackson is proud to announce that his bargaining committee and the City of Vancouver met today and reached a tentative agreement which will be voted on by union members on Sunday.

"We are pleased to announce that we had a productive session with the employer today and have successfully tweaked Foley's recommendations," says CUPE 1004 President Mike Jackson. "The result is a tentative agreement we can recommend to our members."

The parties agreed to improved benefit coverage in a number of areas: accupuncture coverage, increased vision care coverage from $300 to $450, benefit coverage to begin after first month of employment rather than after first six months.

There were a number of other adjustments to Foley's recommendations:

  • A joint committee to address the assignment of overtime was established.
  • The Olympic partnership agreement was adjusted to include an expedited dispute resolution process and system for assigning Olympic work.
  • Areas of feasibility (horticulture, golf courses, sanitation) were identified for the compressed work week committee.
  • Return to work agreement includes extention of time limit to return from 10 days to 14 days.
  • grievances will no longer be deemed abandoned after 90 days

CUPE 1004 represents Vancouver's 2,000 outside workers. They have been on strike since July 19, 2007.


For more information, please contact:

Mike Jackson, CUPE 1004 President, 778-908-8070
Diane Kalen, CUPE Communications, 778-229-0258

City and CUPE 1004 reach tentative agreement

After two days of discussion, the City of Vancouver and Metro Vancouver negotiators have reached a tentative agreement with CUPE 1004 representing the City’s outside workers. The agreement is consistent with the recommendations of mediator Brian Foley.

CUPE 1004 will vote on Sunday, and the executive of 1004 will recommend adoption.

Details of the agreement will be not discussed until after the vote.

Oct, 12 2007 - 3:40 PM

VANCOUVER/CKNW(AM980) - A tentative agreement has been reached between striking outside workers and the city of Vancouver.

The numbers are the same as inside workers and other municipalities settled for -- 17 and a half per cent over five years, but the union says the city has agreed to benefit improvements and some other contract language adjustments.

Improved benefits include acupuncture and increased vision care coverage with benefits beginning after the first month of employment.

A committee is being struck to address the issue of assigned overtime, which previously was without a system.

And the Olympic partnership agreement has been adjusted to also include a system for assigning Olympic work and an expedited dispute resolution process.

Outside workers also won't have to return to work for 14 days following a contract settlement, rather than the current 10...that's because many took other employment in the private sector and will have to give notice.

Workers will vote to ratify that tentative deal Sunday and the union will recommend adoption.

As far as Cupe 391 representing library workers goes, the library will be responding to a proposal received from the union this morning and will be looking for a response in return, so those two parties appear they may be making some headway as well.

Frances Bula, Vancouver Sun

Published: Friday, October 12, 2007

It took negotiators for striking outside workers and the City of Vancouver just over an hour this afternoon to come up with a tentative agreement, which could mean garbage pickup resumes Monday or Tuesday.

"I am relieved," said Mike Jackson, president of Canadian Union of Public Employees, Local 1004, which represents the 2,000 people who collect garbage, maintain parks, and repair streets and sewers. They have been on strike for almost three months.

Jackson admitted the deal doesn't improve the money compensation that was set out by mediator Brian Foley in resolutions package, but it does adjust the language to provide employees with more certainty about benefits and dispute-resolution issues.

The union executive will be recommending that members accept the deal when they vote Sunday.

The outside workers had been in a bad bargaining position since their last vote Tuesday, when the 1,200 members who showed up to cast ballots were 58 per cent in favour of accepting the Foley package. But a Local 1004 bylaw says contracts have to be approved by a two-thirds majority.

The inside workers, in Local 15, had voted 73 per cent in favour of the recommendations and they went back to work Thursday.

Four community centres and two fitness centres that were supposed to be open today were closed instead, after inside workers refused to cross picket lines put up by outside workers at the centres.

With inside and outside workers appearing to have a deal, there is only one group of city workers still on strike with no sign of a settlement, the library employees.

Library negotiators met this morning, but the city's chief librarian, Paul Whitney, said librarians asked for a "major rewrite" of the Foley package that he said appeared undoable.

The major issue for library workers, who are mainly women, is getting pay equity with male-dominated categories of work at the city.

Foley had recommended boosting 300 of the 775 workers, those with the most complex jobs, up a pay grade in the ladder. But union local president Alex Youngberg said members think that's unfair and they want to see the money Foley was prepared to give to the 300 spread out equally to the 775.

However, Whitney said that would mean the librarians at the top of the scale would end up with less money than librarians throughout the region are getting, since other municipalities are giving their highest qualified library staff pay-grade boosts. That will make it hard for Vancouver to recruit, he said.

Thursday, October 11, 2007


Lines of communications are open between the two CUPE locals still on-strike and the City of Vancouver. Many people feel that the city can hold out indefinitely. One problem. Winter.

Icy roads need salt and sand. The City of Vancouver does not have enough exempt staff to operate all the trucks required to maintain city streets.

Questions regarding the need for libraries in the age of the internet also arise. High School students need books for research. ESL curriculum is housed at many libraries for foreign students. Writers and researchers are also dependent on the assistance of library staff.

Much information is available online but accuracy is still in short supply.

Vancouver Sun reports:

CUPE 391

Meanwhile, Dobrovolny said talks would be held Friday with CUPE Local 391, which represents 775 striking library workers who overwhelmingly rejected a settlement negotiated by mediator Brian Foley.

CUPE 1004
Today's meeting followed a phone call Wednesday from CUPE, Local 1004 president Mike Jackson in which he told city negotiators that the two parties were close to a settlement, said the city's main spokesman Jerry Dobrovolny.

He said he felt the two parties were very, very close and it just needed some tweaking so we set up a meeting today with a couple of managers from the city and a couple of executives from 1004 to sit down and find out perhaps how close we are," Dobrovolny said today.

He said it was not an official bargaining meeting because it didn't include the whole bargaining committees.

"It's just a couple of people from both sides," he said. "But clearly there's an opportunity that we need to pursue with the president of Local 1004 saying it just needs a little tweaking and we are very close. So we are hopeful but as I stressed yesterday, our focus and priority is to get inside workers back to work and get those services restored as quickly as possible."

SOURCE: City Hall reopens for business after strike

Gerry Bellett, Vancouver Sun, Published: Thursday, October 11, 2007

Being Your Own Worst Enemy

Although many inside workers returned to work without having to face pickets this morning at City Hall, some outside workers have ignored their union's statement last night that said members would not deter other members from going to work. The city says a few outside workers set up pickets at parks around town this morning, and inside workers honoured them. The Parks Board is dealing with the matter and could possibly go to the Labour Relations Board. NEWS1130

Community Centre staff did receive warnings today not to step outside alone if 1004 members were loitering outside.

Supposedly a few 1004 members have decided to harass CUPE 15 members who work in parks. The 1004 members were in an altered state and threatening staff doing their job. Others decided to have coffee breaks outside the entrances of community centres on the east side of town.

Again, a small group of YAHOOS ruin the reputation of an entire union group. Great work guys!!
Vancouver Sun reported:
He (Jerry Dubrovolny) said there were a few incidents of Local 1004 picket lines interfering with inside workers, mostly staff employed by the park board.

"It's a constantly changing situation but the parks board is pursuing it and will take what ever action is necessary which may include going the the Labour Relations Board [for an order to stop picketing]," he said.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

CUPE 15 Final Strike Pay Info

SOURCE: CUPE Strike Hotsheet # 37

Friday October 19:
  • Final Strike Pay Cheque will be available at CUPE 15 Strike Headquarters
  • $100.00 hold back for those who picketed 10 days or more days will be included

We're looking for people who share a commitment to community, and the lives of our citizens, who share our values of responsiveness, excellence, fairness, integrity, leadership and learning.

If you want to:

  • enhance the well-being of the community
  • protect the environment
  • provide quality service
  • be part of a challenging, safe, healthy and rewarding workplace...

Consider joining our team.

City & CUPE 1004 Meet Thursday Oct. 11

According to GlobalTV at 6:00pm the City and CUPE 1004 brokered a deal to meet tomorrow.

The deal: the City will meet with CUPE 1004 executives in exchange for no pickets at City Hall and other 1004 non-designated work sites.

No CUPE 1004 pickets outside City Hall as CUPE 15 returns to work

[October 10, 2007 05:40 PM]

VANCOUVER - There will be no CUPE 1004 pickets or "welcoming party" outside City Hall tomorrow morning as CUPE 15 members return to work. CUPE 1004 will not be making any media comment until after they have had an opportunity to meet with the employer.

City Council Approves All 3 Deals

Council votes to accept mediator’s recommendations

Vancouver City Council voted today to accept mediator’s Brian Foley’s non-binding recommendations for a new contractual agreement with the City’s workers. Council also voted to approve the funding recommended for library workers, should the Vancouver Library Board also accept the mediator’s recommendations during its vote later this afternoon.

“The City of Vancouver’s immediate priority is to facilitate the return to work of CUPE 15 members and the restoration of related services,” states Vancouver Mayor Sam Sullivan. “I would like to thank the citizens of Vancouver for their ongoing civility and patience during this strike.”

CUPE 15 represents about 3,500 of city’s “inside” workers, responsible for customer services provided at City Hall, such as processing development permits and licenses, as well as providing services at a variety of city-owned and operated venues, such as theatres and daycares. Some civic sites rely on a mixture of inside and “outside” workers, represented by CUPE 1004.

“We’re very pleased that a clear majority of our workers voted in favour of the recommendations. Our city managers need to work with our returning staff to determine a schedule for which services can be restored and when,” said City spokesperson Jerry Dobrovolny. “We’ll provide that information as soon as possible, and will work to keep everyone informed during this evolving process.”

People are encouraged to visit the city’s website for ongoing updates on related to city services. SOURCE:

Update: City votes in favour of mediator proposals

VANCOUVER (NEWS1130) - The City of Vancouver has accepted the mediated deals proposed to end the civic workers strike. Council approved all three deals, although only one has been accepted by union members.

Inside workers could be back to work by as early as tomorrow to deal with things like building permits, inspections and by-law enforcement. Management will outline which services could be restored, and when.

But they still have to take into consideration the fact that outside workers and library workers have not accepted mediated deals, and could still be picketing.

The Morning After. . ,

CUPE 15 voting YES by such a large margin has generated consternation on the picket line.

CUPE 15 members who voted NO believe they will soon be out of a job or the ability to advance has been blocked. Others wish that the margin of support was not so large.

Hard core 1004 members are frustrated both with their membership, 57.5% voted YES, and with CUPE 15 members. Rumors abound of 1004 pickets at City Hall, Rinks and Community Centres tomorrow.

It's also rumoured that CUPE 391 members will picket City Hall. No one knows what will happen at Community Centres with libraries. RUMOUR DEBUNKED by SPARKTIKUS

spartikus said...

It's also rumoured that CUPE 391 members will picket City Hall.

This is false

No one knows what will happen at Community Centres with libraries.

Libraries will remain behind picket lines, and community centres will open!


CUPE 15 staff have been instructed to go to work Thursday and see what awaits them.

If a picket is set up at non-1004 work sites the City will certainly be filing court injunctions to define exactly where pickets can be established.

For customers - don't expect public facilities to be ready for a couple of days, if not weeks. Pools, community centres, rinks all need work. Rinks need ice, pools need cleaning and community centres require access to computers.

The entire computer network password system will have to be reset. Refunds, registration will not be possible until the City/ Park's computer network is up, running and accessible.

BCTV, however, did report this evening that the city is hoping that Community Centres will be operational for drop in programs Friday. I wouldn't bet on that given the lack of hot water or heat in the facilities. I still think Saturday is a realistic option.

Facilities staffed by inside workers expected to open this weekend

VANCOUVER - It's back to business at the pools, community centres and theatres that have been shut down by Vancouver's civic strike for nearly three months.

Now that the city has voted in favour of the deal from mediator Brian Foley, facilities staffed by inside workers are expected to open by Saturday.

There are fears outside workers, who shot down their own deal, may try to block some of the re-openings. But the city warns it will go straight to the Labour Relations Board if pickets go up anywhere they shouldn't.

Talks involving the two remaining union locals are also expected to resume soon.

Tuesday, October 9, 2007


CUPE 15 - 73% Accept Foley Recommendations

CUPE 391 - 78% Reject Foley Recommendations

CUPE 1004 - Foley Recommendations Fail
  • 66% approval required
    • 58% of Parks Outside Workers vote to Accept
    • 57% of City Outside Workers vote to Accept
Outside and library workers reject deal from mediator Brian Foley

(NEWS1130) "But President Mike Jackson says for his members, it's not about the cash. He says there is non-monetary issues. He says they're looking for a certain language because overtime language causes a lot of grievances. He says there's not a policy that's set in place, so they're looking to have that language clarified.

Even once they get a suitable deal, there are fears many outside workers may not come back anyway. 65% have found other jobs.


News 1130am Listeners Poll (unscientific)NOct. 9, 20071130oll
Should the City of Vancouver consider contracting out some of its services?

Yes 78%
No 22%


Where there's a will. . .

Column by Miro Cernetig, Vancouver Sun

Published: Tuesday, October 09, 2007

. . ."But the take home message so far from this summer's strike is that Vancouverites have proven surprisingly adept at making do with less city government. We haven't, despite the warnings, reached some tipping point that will shut the city down. And that undeniable fact raises other questions. When all the civic workers finally do get back on the job, should they all really go back to the same duties? Or should there be a review by the beancounters to figure out where there might be efficiencies?

Could the fact that city taxes keep rising be related to the possibility that we're perhaps paying a premium for some of the services that could really be done more efficiently outside of city hall?

Garbage removal, it seems to me, is a good place to start that debate. One of the reasons we aren't hip-deep in rotting garbage bags is that over the years, a lot of the pickup service has already been quietly contracted out by businesses, apartment buildings and the city's condominium-strata councils. Those who still get city pickup, pay for it big time. In the last tax bill, ratepayers were dinged for the fancy new garbage containers that now are gathering moss: it was $99 for that 180-litre garbage can with wheels, $47 for the 180-litre yard-trimming bucket and $20 for that blue recycling box that we all could probably have bought more cheaply if we had done the shopping ourselves. . . "

CUPE Vote Result Schedule


[October 9, 2007 04:36 PM] CUPE

7pm : CUPE 15 will be announcing results outside their offices at 545 West 10th Avenue, Vancouver.

7pm : CUPE 391 will be announcing results at Central Library.

8:30pm : CUPE 1004 will be announcing results at the Maritime Labour Centre. (1880 Triumph)

CUPE 15 Ratification Meeting

The CUPE 15 bargaining committee provided significant background on the 13 months of strained bargaining with the City of Vancouver.

First, the document titled "Items Previously Agreed" all 8 pages of it, is all that the City and CUPE could achieve together pre-Brian Foley.

During a previous blog I took Mr. Dubrovolny at his word regarding calling for Special mediator under section 76 of the BC Labour Relations Code.

I was wrong to do so.

According to Keith Graham, lead negotiator for CUPE 15, this section is used primarily to force Ferry Workers back to work and operates solely at the BC Labour Minister's discretion. They decide terms, references, process and mediator.

When Mr. Graham met with Mike Zora, General Manager - Human Resource Services Mr. Graham had learned that not only had Mr. Zora requested a Special Mediator, but also set out the terms and conditions of what he would discuss and what mediators were acceptable.

It was during this discussion that Mr. Dubrovolny was meeting with the media stating that if the unions truly wished to mediate they could have done the same.

Mr. Dubrovolny was wrong.

According to Mr. Graham the City was in a bind, when the Province rejected the City's request for a Special Mediator. The recently completed "enhanced mediation process" was just as much a face saving measure for City managers as it was a resolution to the civic labour dispute.

Mr. Foley's developed a dispute resolution systems that prevents the City allowing disputes to remain unresolved for years. The Reclassification / Classification system replaces an agreement called the "The Referee's Document," which Keith Graham, Lead CUPE 15 Negotiator claimed was ripped apart by Mike Zora, General Manager, Human Resource Services, 8 years ago.

Mr. Zora's actions, it is claimed, has allowed disputes to fester and contribute to the poisonous work atmosphere at City Hall.

The new settlement would resolve classification issues in 7 months instead of no set deadline.

Staff teams from City Hall, Park Board, Ray-Cam and Britannia now can compare their work to each other. Each work unit, prior to this current settlement offer, was treated as a separate employer silo. Job comparisons and pay scales could only be made within each silo.

Not included in the collective agreement the settlement does provide certain caveats. Prior to Foley settlement if an employee made a whistle blowing claim and the city found it to be erroneous the city could discipline the employee. The previous framework had a chilling effect on whistle blower claims.

An employee can now share a suspicion without fear of retribution.

CUPE 15 had this issue on the back burner until Mr. Foley said he would deal with it. It is the dispute resolution process that Mr. Foley improved upon. The City had developed a process which would require 6 months, or the length of VANOC's exclusive use period, to resolved disputes which occurred at "Designated Facilities and Sites."

CUPE requested that City "Exempt Staff" serve as managers at Olympic Sites and Facilities as they did not believe it appropriate that City Staff be supervised by volunteers or VANOC employees.

CUPE 15 does not like these outcomes (6 month notice of layoffs instead of no layoffs) but is satisfied again with the dispute resolution mechanisms. They are stronger than anything that has been in a Vancouver Collective agreement for years.

If CUPE 15 members were to reject the agreement there is no guarantee that a new mediator would be called as it requires both parties to agree on that process. It would be similar to pressing reset on a counter. Everything except the "Items Previously Agreed" would be off the table and there would be no guarantee that it would return.

The CUPE 15 bargaining committee stated it could not in good conscience tell it's members that there would be a better deal if they held out for 4, 8 or 12 more weeks.

The results of today's CUPE 15, 391 & 1004 votes should be announced between 7:oopm and 8:30pm tonight.

City Council votes tomorrow In Camera.

Metro Vancouver Labour Relations Board ratified the agreement this afternoon.