SCHREIBER, ONTARIO--(Marketwired - Oct. 18, 2013) - Local 87 of the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE), representing 13 municipal workers in the Town of Schreiber, Ontario, has asked for a provincial conciliation officer to assist the union and town management negotiate a fair collective agreement, in what union officials describe as 'the most difficult set of negotiations we've had in this community'.
"All our members want is to continue providing quality public services to Town residents, and to be treated fairly," said Lisa Steenerson, CUPE National Representative. "We hope management's and council's attitude will improve in upcoming conciliation talks, because our members would like very much to avoid a strike and continue serving the public, as we have been doing continuously since 1981."
CUPE represents inside and outside municipal workers in Schreiber, providing all municipal services, from accounting, to by-law enforcement, to cleaning municipal offices and providing recreation services by inside workers, and including all public works (summer and winter road maintenance and plowing/salting), sidewalk maintenance and repair, water and wastewater services, storm sewer maintenance, cemetery (burials), maintenance of all town equipment and other municipal services.
"Our members are proud to serve the Schreiber community, and we encourage residents to contact the Mayor and their local Councillors to urge them to reach a fair contract settlement to protect the Town's public services," added Steenerson. (Contact information for Council: Mayor Don McArthur (807) 621-9970, email@example.com; Councillor Mark Figliomeni (807) 824-2711 or (807) 824-2485; Councillor Bob Krause (807) 824-2711 ext. 293 or (807) 824-2292, firstname.lastname@example.org; Councillor Lorraine Huard (807) 824-2711 ext. 291 or (807) 824-2757; Councillor Patrick Halonen (807) 824-2711 ext. 292 or (807) 824-2999)
"The Town has talked publicly about difficulty in managing its finances and through questionable management practices failed to collect taxes from many contributors over the years," said Steenerson. "It is unfair for them to now take that out on the very people who make sure the town runs smoothly. I fail to see how attacking Schreiber municipal workers and gutting their benefits will do anything to help the town."
Town Council is seeking concessions from the workers, including cuts to benefits for current workers and retirees. CUPE members in the Town recently voted 100 per cent in favour of a strike if negotiations fail to produce a fair collective agreement. Conciliation talks have been scheduled for November 12th.