Saturday, September 15, 2007

Mediation Mash-Up

"The city and the three Canadian Union of Public Employees locals have been negotiating under a media blackout all week.

"The city ended that blackout Friday, saying the two sides had reached serious impasses on a number of issues and it is now asking the province to appoint mediators.

"The city is also asking the B.C. Labour Relations Board to appoint a facilitator to help end the strike by 800 library workers.

According to a memo issued by city manager Judy Rogers, the mediation will be non-binding and should begin next week." (

"CUPE, Local 15 chief negotiator Keith Graham said his union has always been willing to enter mediation. But he disputed the city's argument that it was forced to call for a special mediator because negotiations had stalled this week.

"Graham said talks with the city adjourned Wednesday night and were set to resume this weekend with the union responding to the employer's latest offer." (Vancouver Sun)

"...Rogers says in the memo that the city has told CUPE 15 it is ready to go back to the bargaining table this weekend — and that she hopes the two sides can come to an agreement even before mediators are brought in. (

"There was some movement with Local 15 and we've said we are prepared to continue to meet through the weekend," said Dobrovolny."

"About mediation, Graham said "the employer has precipitously gone down this road. It's hard for us not to believe that it's another tactic by the employer to not negotiate a deal."

"Graham also said his union would prefer mediation through the B.C. Labour Relations Board rather than the appointment of a special mediator by the provincial labor minister who will set the terms of reference for the mediation process."(Vancouver Sun)

"The province is not obligated to appoint a mediator; the B.C. Ministry of Labour had no immediate comment on whether it will act on the city and library's requests." (The Globe & Mail)

"Ministry of Labour spokesman Gordon Williams said the province received the city's request on Friday and has not yet made a formal decision. If the province decides to appoint a special mediator, both sides must agree on the terms of reference before talks begin." (Vancouver Province)

Ministry of Labour spokesman Gordon Williams said the government appointment of a mediator occurs "very rarely" and the request was not granted. (Vancouver Province)

"At the same time, the Vancouver Public Library is asking the Labour Relations Board to appoint a facilitator in its seven-week-old dispute with its workers." (The Globe & Mail)

"The VPL and the union are still at odds over wages and job security provisions." (Vancouver Sun)

"The city is still at odds with Canadian Union of Public Employees, Local 15, which represents the city's inside workers, over the local's demand for a ban on layoffs caused by contracting out and the city's demand for more flexibility in the hiring of external job candidates." (Vancouver Sun)

"The negotiating team representing Vancouver's outside workers was scheduled to head back to the bargaining table Friday for a second day of talks but they were called off." (

"Money is the key issue for the outside workers in Local 1004, which is seeking an 18-per-cent wage hike over five years - one per cent more than the regional pattern, said Dobrovolny.

"With Local 1004, we seem to be moving in the opposite direction. They told us that the longer they stay out on strike the higher the expectations of its members will be." (Vancouver Sun)


Anonymous said...

The real problem here is that the CUPE Union bosses have been unable to get anything out of the City of Vancouver that exceeds what either Richmond or North Vancouver got.

For whatever reason, CUPE gambled that they would be able too. The whole wait and the City will crumble strategy has been a dismal failure and now the Union bosses are desperate to save face. One would have thought that the City would have thrown them a bone to do so; however the City has been clear all along that jobs for life and seniority over skill would not be accepted. I suppose CUPE figured that City would have caved on one of the two and a deal would be done. They were wrong.

One would think CUPE would have welcomed the call for mediation; now it seems they are being critical before the process has not even begun. This does not look hopeful.

Anonymous said...

i feel that so many of us as city
workers will not get over this
strike no matter what the contract
may be it is not just about money
it is about the way people have
being treated and the public. Lots
have left community centers as patron's as well as the workers
looking at the city of vancouver
as a very unstable place to work.

Anonymous said...

i feel this strike doesnt need to
be! Us as city workers are not
going to forget the suffering this
strike has caused us as well as the
public! Sam Sullivan and his mandate! Does he know what that is? Have got to know so many
people thru this strike! referring to sam's article about us being lazy as workers! How much more can
he ridicule us? the joke he said in the georgia straight was suspose to be funny sam? How many
more lies does will there be?
that's it think about it....