Elkford public works employees and garbage collectors, along with other municipal department workers for the District, have delivered a strong strike mandate. The 39 workers represented by CUPE 3004 have voted in favour of strike action.
Tanis Haugo, CUPE 3004 President, stated that the vote was to send the message to the employer that the employees are frustrated and aren’t feeling respected.
“CUPE 3004 members have given our bargaining committee a strong and unified message to go back to the table to negotiate a deal that is fair and reasonable,” said Haugo. “Our members not only work for the District of Elkford, but are also active citizens in this community.”
The employees have been working without a contract since February 29, 2012. Some of the major outstanding issues include cost of living wage increases, length of the agreement, benefits, and scheduling issues.
While prior negotiations came to a halt earlier in September, bargaining dates have been set for October. “Our plan is to go back to the bargaining table and the employer has agreed to some dates. We’re just getting them firmed up with people’s schedules, but nobody’s trying to avoid the bargaining table,” commented CUPE National Representative, Keith Neilson. “We’ll see how that goes and whether there’s the need to exercise the strike vote.”
The CUPE 3004 members involved are employed at the Elkford Community Conference Centre, Aquatic Centre, Recreation Centre, Public Works, District Offices and the Fire Hall. The municipal workers provide a number of public services to the community, including garbage collection, water and sewage treatment, road maintenance, administrative and financial services, tourism, programming, swim lessons, boat licensing, arena and facility maintenance, and parks and playgrounds.