Lockout May 9 looming? Highlands East CUPE wants wage parity

Municipal workers want similar contract to other neighbouring municipalities

James Chai – CUPE 

Highlands East, ON – Front-line workers with the Municipality of Highlands East are seeking a fair contract that is similar to what three other neighbouring municipalities negotiated with their municipal workers, says the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE), representing the Highlands East municipal workers.

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Negotiations Beached? Photo by Raymond Berry.

“We are not asking for anything more than what other local municipal employers in our area have provided to their workers,” said Alison Davidson, CUPE national representative for local 4416. “All our members want is to be treated fairly and equitably. The workers live and work in this community and any positive changes to their working and economic conditions can only benefit this community.”

CUPE 4416 is seeking a deal on par with what other municipal workers in the Township of Minden Hills, County of  Haliburton and the United Townships of Dysart et al achieved with their respective employers earlier this year. CUPE requested for a ‘no board’ report from the Ontario Ministry of Labour, seeking a provincial mediator to assist both parties to reach a fair and equitable settlement. Mediation is scheduled for May 7 with a legal lockout or strike deadline of 12:01 am on May 9.

“We are urging the residents in our community to support our quest for a fair and equitable agreement,” said Ken Riley, CUPE 4416 President. “Equality is a value that all Canadians understand and share and what we want is an equitable deal on par with increases achieved in neighboring municipalities – nothing more, nothing less.”

CUPE 4416 represents 28 inside and outside workers including equipment operators, mechanics, laborers, area attendant, by-law officers, financial and administration staff and others. Their last collective agreement expired December 31, 2011.