Update on collective bargaining with CUPE Local 500

Update on collective bargaining with CUPE Local 500

Released: 4:18 p.m.

Winnipeg, MB – Late last night, the City of Winnipeg (City) learned that the Canadian Union of Public Employees Local 500 (CUPE) intends to take strike action beginning on Wednesday, October 12.

Over the past several months, the City has been actively engaged in collective bargaining with CUPE with the assistance of a conciliator appointed by the Manitoba Labour Board. In July, CUPE’s membership gave its bargaining committee a strike mandate.

Since the strike vote, the City has continued working hard to negotiate a fair settlement and to avoid a strike. Today, we presented CUPE with a further settlement.

Today’s offer includes general wage increases well-above those included in the offer that the CUPE bargaining committee shared with their members in July, and also includes significant money to be used for special wage adjustments to lower paid classifications.

“The City’s negotiating team has worked very hard to reach a fair deal for our CUPE represented workforce that avoids a labour disruption that would impact the important City services residents rely on,” said Michael Jack, the City’s Chief Administrative Officer. “We strongly encourage CUPE’s negotiating committee to accept the City’s latest offer and take it to their membership before any job action is taken.”

After CUPE received a strike mandate from their membership in July, the City proposed an essential services agreement to CUPE, which would allow CUPE employees in certain key positions to continue to provide essential services in the event of a labour disruption, including the provision of clean drinking water, sewage treatment, and 911 contact centre operations. To date, CUPE has not agreed to sign this essential services agreement.

The City has been diligently preparing for a potential work stoppage by CUPE staff, and will work to maintain critical services including:

  • Police, fire, and paramedic response
  • Water treatment and supply
  • Water quality testing and monitoring
  • Wastewater collection, treatment, and monitoring
  • Transit service
  • Emergency repairs and maintenance to City infrastructure as required, including sewer, water main breaks, street lighting, traffic signals/signs, and roads
  • Certain online services

Services that are contracted out, such as recycling, yard waste, and garbage pickup will continue during a work stoppage.

Depending on the approach CUPE takes to strike planning, many City services and programs could either be reduced or temporarily interrupted, and certain City facilities may be temporarily closed to members of the public during a strike.

For more information on potential service impacts in the event of a CUPE work stoppage, see: winnipeg.ca.

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