Sunday, October 7, 2007

CUPE Responds

Vancouver Province - Oct 9 - Strike could go sour: Mediator - Brian Foley responds to CUPE 391 & 1004 criticisms

Vancouver Province - Oct 9 - Unions Unhappy with deal, strike

Deal in doubt
By Jonathan Woodward, Vancouver Sun
Published: Sunday, October 07, 2007

Vancouver's civic workers' strike could extend into 2008, mediator Brian Foley warned Sunday after two of the three striking union locals recommended rejection of his proposals
. Outside workers and library workers have been urged to turn down the proposal, while negotiators for inside workers have recommended acceptance.

The three Canadian Union of Public Employees locals, which together have some 5,000 members, have been on strike since late July. Local 1004, representing 1,800 outside workers, and Local 391, representing about 700 library workers, will vote on the offer Tuesday, while Local 15, representing 3,500 inside workers will vote both Monday and Tuesday.

CUPE 15 - Inside Workers - YES

Local 15 chief negotiator Keith Graham said that if his members vote Yes, they will return to work immediately, unless they have to cross picket lines.

He said Foley addressed many key issues for his members. "When I look at the whole document, we were able to make some ground in areas we haven't been able to correct for years," he said.

"Did we get everything we wanted? No," he said. "But we can still go back with our heads held high."

If union members vote against the proposal, the strike could well drag into 2008 with no benefit, he said.

CUPE 391 - Library Workers - NO

Meanwhile, at the Croatian Cultural Centre, hundreds of striking library workers were on their feet cheering their negotiators' recommendation to reject Foley's proposal.

Leaders of CUPE 391 wouldn't comment, but several workers walked out of the meeting saying their negotiators had recommended rejection because the key demand of pay equity had been ignored.

Foley said he had proposed raises for 300 of 700 library staff, who are mostly women, in the name of pay equity.

"They would have had a wishy-washy committee that went nowhere," he said. "I didn't give them a committee, I gave them pay equity."

CUPE 1004 - Outside Workers - NO

Meanwhile, Local 1004 bargaining committee representative Dave Van Dyke had some harsh words for Foley as outside workers - including truck drivers and garbage collectors - gathered at the Maritime Labour Centre Sunday morning.

"Foley's sold us down the river," said Van Dyke. The wage increase of 17.5 per cent over five years was acceptable, he said. But what wasn't acceptable was the lack of whistleblower protection, tradesmen not getting large enough salary increases, a too-low cap on deferred vacation, and too-strict disciplinary measures for workers.

"They split the baby in half," he said. "The bargaining committee is recommending turning it down."


Anonymous said...
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Anonymous said...

I agree with blackbird. Not enough of an increase for tradesmen??? I think many have left already...the rest are preparing their resumes. If the increase isn't competitive they will lose them all,their loss! Deferred vacation?? Is that a deal breaker? Whistleblower/disciplinary? C'mon 1004,wakeup!! Your leadership is already in question. Tend your wounds and live on to fight another day. You may lose the support of your members...the ones that you have left

Anonymous said...

blackbird, maybe you don't understand the concept of a 'contract'. Once you sign its for five years. There is no renegotiation.

Anonymous said...

what percent "yes" does the library need to accept this contract? If they reject do we all stay out? I thought we went on strike for term, benefits, and job security.We got that! Tradesman increases, deferred vacation, whistleblower, discipline? These weren't issues that convinced me to vote strike. Has 1004 leadership forgotten this? You don't need homeruns to win a ballgame, get runners on base and then get them home. Singles, doubles and even sacrifice flies can win games

Picket Boy said...

Library Workers require 50% + 1 according to the Oct 8 Vancouver Province.

Anonymous said...

The point is, this is the best deal 15 and 1004 are going to get at this point in time.

I'm not sure about the Library as I don't know enough about their issues. What Foley said was that instead of giving them a committee, he showed them the money.

For the others, he seems to have come down as close to the middle as possible.

1004 is between a rock and a hard place: needing to get remaining workers back to work, and extensive loss of membership.

That being said, if 1004 does reject and set up a picket outside city hall (where several of their managers are stationed), IMHO, they should have the right to picket there and have their managers look them in eye as they head to work.

Anonymous said...

they should have the right to picket there and have their managers look them in eye as they head to work.

Wouldn't a picket line also prevent 15 from crossing?

Anonymous said...

Continuing strike action by cupe 391 is a terrible way of coping with frustration over failure. Its completely irrational and hardly supportable by the membership. Despite claims to the contrary, the 391 executive does rely on members believing they should "stay out however long it takes", as if there is some guarantee of success by strike action.

Anonymous said...

Have you actually taken a look around town? The streets and alleys on more than a few places have never looked cleaner. Residential Vancouver is dealing with the absence of garbage collection. Downtown hasn't been affected in the slightest from all reports.

Stay on strike, and citizens will simply forget that about the labour dispute, if they haven't already.

Anonymous said...
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Anonymous said...

I agree with anon 4:10, with summer over and people fully adjusted to alternative garbage removal, 1004 has lost almost all of its leverage. If they blow through Foley's recs, they might as well stay out till April.

Anonymous said...

Anon @10:53 am, Oct 8

Yes, it would prevent CUPE 15 from crossing lines.

But you have to balance that with a belief in democratic rights, and if there is any effect if someone chooses to exercise those rights and has no contact with those able to make a change.

Personally, I'll take democracy over a salary.

Anonymous said...

Anyone care to comment on the locals breaking solidarity with this vote? Maybe it's a matter of my not understanding the process, but this seems to be a significant change in strategy. And how differently might the vote turn out if the choices on the ballot read "Yes to the contract / No to the contract / No in solidarity"?

Anonymous said...

I would suppport the strikers staying out if they had a legitimate way to get a better deal, but they don't. Do they really believe that the city will suddenly change and offer pay equity and job security? They haven't in almost a year, why would they change their minds? Due to the overwhelming public outcry to re-open the libraries? Please! No one cares... even if the deal isn't great, they should cut their losses and vote yes because the longer they stay out, the less likely they will to get anything. Come January, the city won't even be offering the 1000$ signing bonus and the library workers will be begging to go back to work with the 17.5% increase already gone during the striking months...

Anonymous said...

Can someone explain to me why Blackbird's comments on this entry about how when there is a "Vision Vancouver" city council CUPE will finally get a good deal? Can it be that BB got slapped by Vision Vancouver? Could it be that this WHOLE EFFIN' STRIKE was about POLITICS?????

If that's the case, then city workers are a bunch of suckers. You picketed for nothing, and left the city a mess. Thanks.