ST. JOHN'S, NEWFOUNDLAND--(Marketwired - Aug. 29, 2014) - Outside workers at the City of St. John's, members of CUPE Local 569, have reached an impass with the Employer over the pension plan. The City is proposing a defined contribution plan for all new hires, instead of the defined benefit plan, which has been in place since 1973.
"We recognize there are some challenges for the City with the defined benefit plan, and we have tabled options for dealing with those challenges," says CUPE National Representative Ed White. "However the City has ignored all of our proposals."
"In fact," says White, "the Employer has been extremely unreasonable throughout negotiations, beginning with the first day of bargaining when they threatened a lockout. How do you bargain under that threat?"
The union has been insistent that all employees, present and future, have a DB plan, which pays modest but secure benefits, rather than a risky DC plan.
"We are doing everything we can to reach an agreement, but we can't throw the futures of new employees under the bus, or threaten the benefits of current employees," says White.
Inside city workers, members of Local 1289, are scheduled for conciliation on September 15.
CUPE Local 569 represents 450 workers who provide services such as garbage/recycling collection, snow clearing, street maintenance and water and sewer.
Local 1289 represents 370 workers whose services include clerical, building permits and inspections, parking enforcement and recreation.