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Posted: July 5, 2016

USW, KSCU unionized staff evaluating positions

On June 20-21 in Trail, United Steelworkers (USW) Locals 1-405 and 9705 representing 110 unionized staff at Kootenay Savings Credit Union (KSCU) at branches in the East and West Kootenay, participated in mediation with provincial mediator Dave Schaub from the BC Labour Relations Board and KSCU.

However, little progress was made and the two parties are still at odds over the concessions placed on the table by the employer, the USW reported today in a press release.

“The first day wasn’t very productive at all,” said Dean Lott, USW Staff Representative and lead negotiator. “Day two saw a better approach by the employer and there was some cautious optimism that they would come off of their position. We went late into the evening on the 21st and there was some hope but every framework the employer presented included concessions on the pension protection language in the agreement and zero’s in the first two years. Things came to a halt shortly after that.”

Following 17 days of negotiations over the past six months, the unionized staff represented by the United Steelworkers at KSCU have voted 94% in favour of job action. USW Locals 1-405 and 9705 are currently evaluating the next steps which could include serving 72-hour strike notice along with responding to inquiries from other unions and supporting organizations that do business with KSCU.

“The word is out about how our members are being treated during this set of negotiations,” offered Lott. “The umbrella organization, USW District 3, isn’t happy and they have significant interests in KSCU, as do many unions and like-minded organizations in the area. They’re evaluating their options.”

The key sticking points remain the employer’s insistence on deleting long-standing language that is protective of KSCU employee’s pension; hours of work for the new Member Service Center; limiting of member health benefits and no wage increase for two years, the USW pointed out in its press release.

The United Steelworkers (USW) Local 9705 (Trail) and USW Local 1-405 (Cranbrook) represent 110 employees at KSCU branches and offices in Kimberley, Trail, Fruitvale, Castlegar, Salmo, South Slocan and Kaslo.


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