CRD CUPE members vote overwhelmingly in favour of strike

Strike action would require 72‑hour strike notice issued

Hundreds of CRD employees represented by CUPE Local 1978 have voted 93 per cent in favour of strike action in a vote on Thursday, May 31.

Despite several months of negotiation, the CRD and the local can’t reach a deal, said CUPE Local president Rick Illi.

In an interview with Black Press, Illi said there is an “impasse” regarding an pay increase for auxilliary workers who work on-call, which he said comprises nearly half the workforce of the CRD. They are in many departments, including animal control, parks maintenance and recreation (including Panorama Recreation). Because they are not permanent employees, these workers are not entitled to the majority of benefits in the collective agreement so instead they earn an hourly premium.

“One of our main priorities in this round of negotiations is a modest increase to this hourly premium for our most vulnerable members who often don’t have job security, reliable hours or consistent schedules,” he said.

RELATED: CRD board members vote for executive staff pay raise

According to Illi, the Greater Victoria Labour Relations Association (which negotiates on behalf of employers like local governments) and the CRD have not been willing to consider the proposal.

“We find it particularly troubling that both senior managers and CRD directors recently received significant wage increases yet the CRD isn’t willing to consider this modest increase for some of its most vulnerable workers – that is what has led us to this strike vote,” adds Illi.

He said this strike action vote does not mean an impending strike, but is a sign the workers agree with the union’s point of view at the bargaining table, and are prepared to strike if an agreement cannot be hashed out. Illi said that the union plans to file for mediation to attempt to resolve negotiations without strike action through a B.C. Labour Relations Board appointed mediator.

Before taking any strike action essential service levels would need to be negotiated and the union would have to serve 72‑hour strike notice.

In an interview, Kevin Murdoch, chair of the Greater Victoria Labour Relations Association that represents the employer, said the notice was not a surprise and accepted a mediator. He said the GVLRA “takes seriously the need for good and healthy work environments.” He remained optimistic a deal could be reached.

“We totally respect this process,” said Murdoch, “and we’re pretty hopeful we can get to a settlement thorough the mediated process.”

Updated on June 1, 2018 at 5:45 p.m. with comments from Rick Illi and Kevin Murdoch.


 

cvanreeuwyk@oakbaynews.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Washington State man facing murder charges in 1987 killing of Victoria couple

Two counts of aggravated first-degree murder filed against William Talbott II in Snohomish

Student works online from the Oak Bay High Short Film Fest

Divine Tragedy earns People’s Choice award during viewing event

Art Gallery of Greater Victoria expansion gets $6M boost from province

Project many years in the making, but planned for current Rockland site

Labour pains: cheap help is hard to find on Vancouver Island

Big Read: high demand for workers, lack of affordable living mean imperfect storm for businesses

Does a creature lurk beneath Cadboro Bay?

Researchers on hunt for Cadborosaurus, with sightings dating back centuries along the B.C. coast

REPLAY: B.C. this week in video

In case you missed it, here’s a look at replay-worthy highlights from across the province this week

5 fun things to do this weekend in Greater Victoria

Car Free YYJ, family fishing, Sooke bluegrass, walk for cancer and a mascot’s birthday

Smart technology bridge proposed to cross Saanich Inlet

Meant to offer alternative to crossing Malahat

Former Penticton Vee recovering in hospital

Pittsburgh Penguin prospect expected to make full recovery

BC Lions defensive back Marcell Young levels streaker in home opener

Young hit the fan near one of the 45-yard lines

Police: Taxi driver who hit 8 Moscow pedestrians fell asleep

Two Mexican World Cup fans were among those hit

B.C. VIEWS: Orphans of our urban drug culture neglected again

Child advocate Bernard Richard leaves B.C. with harsh message

From marijuana beer to pot cookies, Canadian companies creating cannabis edibles

Manufacturers think that edibles will do well with users who don’t want to smoke or vape

Privacy lawyer warns against victim blaming in recent sextortion scams

Perpetrators get sexual photos of the victim and threaten to share them with friends and families

Most Read