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Posted: November 7, 2016

Open letter to Fernie’s mayor and council

Letter to the Editor

Dear Mayor Giuliano and Members of Council:

RE: Collective Bargaining between the City of Fernie and CUPE Local 2093

The Union Bargaining Committee, on behalf of our membership, your employees, again respectfully request that you direct your bargaining team to return to the negotiation table so we can conclude collective bargaining.

As you know, your unionized employees’ previous Collective Agreement expired on February 28, 2015, some 20 months ago.

On October 5, the Union provided your negotiator with an offer of settlement addressing the issues your team expressed as priorities at the bargaining table. The issues were: your need to have an early shift, starting at 4 a.m. between December 1 and March 31, to deal with downtown snow-plowing and your need for an early shift, starting at 5 a.m., for line painting.

On October 6, your negotiator rejected our offer of settlement. This was disappointing as we believe the real issues expressed by your team had been resolved in our offer. On October 7, with the intent to get these protracted negotiations concluded, we provided bargaining dates for the month of October to your negotiator and acting CAO but neither acknowledged our request.

On October 24, our representative provided a letter to you at council’s Committee-of-the-Whole public meeting and asked you, the employer, to come back to the bargaining table. As of October 31, you’re still ignoring this invitation to conclude bargaining. With no response it appears to us that the City of Fernie has no respect for their employees and has no intention to return to the bargaining table to reach an agreement in a timely manner.

It saddens us to see that a mayor and council, who are ultimately responsible and accountable for the employer’s actions, would not consider concluding a fair collective agreement with their employees a priority. This type of leadership may very well put city services in jeopardy.

Written on behalf of the City of Fernie’s Unionized Workers who are members of the Canadian Union of Public Employees, Local 2093 whose past collective agreement expired on February 28, 2015.

City of Fernie Unionized Workers,

submitted by Keith Nielson,

CUPE National Representative

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