Monday, July 30, 2007

First Richmond, Now Delta, Uh Oh

The Law of Unanticipated Consequences is at work. The Vancouver city management and the current NPA party act as they are the god-parent of the GVRD. The perspective is a continual irritant to neighbouring cities but Vancouver appears to be getting its comeuppance.

First Mayor Sullivan floated the UBC extension of the Millenium Line at the expense of the Evergreen Line to Coquitlam Centre. Idea shot down by Translink and surrounding cities.

Then came the Riverview Lands (it's in Coquitlam) and the musing Mayor expressing how it would benefit Vancouver. Rich Coleman, Minister For Housing and the Mayor of Coquitlam pointedly tell the Mayor to butt out.

Finally labour dispute settlements. No one is seeking Vancouver's advice except to avoid the example set by the musing Mayor and his management team. Instead Richmond has settled and at 10:45pm July 30, 2007 Delta settles.

Delta settles, no end in sight in Vancouver

Darah Hansen and Jonathan Woodward, Vancouver Sun

Published: Monday, July 30, 2007 10:45pm

Vancouver Sun
Municipal workers in Delta, following in Richmond’s footsteps, reached a tentative contract agreement Monday, but strikes in Vancouver and North Vancouver entered their second full week with no end in sight.

The Delta deal is a carbon copy of the Richmond agreement, extending five years with raises totaling 17.5 per cent, said Darryl Robinson, president of Canadian Union of Public Employees Local 454.

Robinson said the deal took months of intense — and often tense — negotiations.
( ed. The City of Vancouver averages 2.5 hours of negotiations and then quits. Perhaps Mr. Dubrovolny requires the negotiator's equivalent of Viagra to assist with his endurance.)

“We looked at the Richmond template, and it was the first breakout of a 39-month pattern,” Robinson said, referring to controversies throughout the region about the length of municipal workers’ contracts.

He said the tentative contract also contains “a lot of the term packages and the other wages and improvements our people were seeking.”

If the deal had not been struck Monday, Robinson said his 800-member local planned to serve Delta with strike notice.

“We were clear that if we didn’t get an agreement today we’d get out strike notice,” he said.

The GVRD Labour Relations Bureau, which has been helping most municipalities with contract talks, didn’t figure prominently in the final negotiations, Robinson said.

(ed. The GVRD Labour Relations Bureau (GVRD LRB) appears to be a further obstacle inhibiting the gritty slog of negotiating.

"We don't understand why CUPE members are on strike, especially considering that employees are losing approximately two percent of their annual salary each week."
GVRD LRB chair Stewart Peddemors. - Burnaby New Westminster News Leader 26 July 2007 A7

“Most of the progress we’d made prior to today was directly with our employer,” he said.

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