NEWS RELEASE · 30th March 2015
District of Kitimat
Collective Bargaining involves a Union and an Employer meeting to negotiate issues of concern. The District of Kitimat has negotiated – it has listened to the Union and agreed to many of the Union’s demands.
The District has been clear since the start of negotiations that some items are too costly or unacceptably restrict the right of management to make workforce decisions.
Fact: The District retracted all its original demands; the Union made 90+ demands.
Fact: Before providing the Union with a Final Offer, the District met with the Union more than twenty times. The District was the only party agreeing to demands in order to conclude a Collective Agreement and avoid a strike.
Fact: Despite having received a Final Offer which would have avoided a strike, and make District employees one of the highest paid municipal workforces in the province, the Union chose to go on strike.
Fact: In an effort to end the strike, the District returned to the bargaining table and agreed to additional demands, including: changing seniority language on selection; health and safety, and training. As well, the District has agreed to provide opportunities for part-time workers to increase their hours. In return, the Union withdrew nothing from the table – it says all remaining demands are crucial.
Fact: The District has negotiated in good faith. The Union has remained steadfast in its stance that all Union’s demands must be accommodated.
The District of Kitimat has made significant concessions to conclude a Collective Agreement and end this strike. Nothing has persuaded the Union to settle. The District cannot agree to more Union demands without severely compromising its ability to manage or without extreme budget implications. The District has responsibilities to all who pay taxes and rely on the District to make fiscally responsible decisions.
Comment by Alex on 7th April 2015
I agree Mike. Not only safe and fair - but free from personal harassment as well. We know that some employees have been subjected to this - BIG TIME.
More facts please
Comment by Ralph Bartel on 1st April 2015
Since the D.O.K. is in the fact giving mode could the D.O.K. please give us the factual savings amount of the strike so far? And will these savings be passed on to the taxpayer since the city is not providing the services we pay for? Or better yet pass these savings on to the city worker. Even better cut a little fat from the top and pass that along as well. Boots on the ground need all the support they can get from this administration.
Comment by Started at the bottom on 1st April 2015
Fact: The world is flat.
Fact: Christopher Columbas discovered America.
Fact: Ben Johnson won gold.
Fact: If you don't stop that, you will go blind.
Fact: Guilty people float, innocent sink, witches also.
Fact: The world will come to a end, pick a date.
That's the problem with "facts" you need the whole story for any credibility.
Shame on Council
Comment by Mike on 31st March 2015
Well put Rob. It appears that the DOK is on the defensive with all their press releases. A historical relationship on wages and benefits between RioTino workers and the District Workers has existed for decades. This cannot be denied! The workers provide an essential service to the public and should be recognized as such. Take away the bureaucrats and life goes on. Take away the worker who delivers your water, cleans the streets, cleans the sewers, maintains the equipment and facilities, repairs the fire hydrants and watermains and you will have a third world village. Circa 1994 the infamous Trafford Hall justified giving staff up to a 20% wage increase to catch up to the wages of comparable RioTinto staff. Council at the time found this to be fair and approved the astronomical wage hikes while that same year the union had to go on strike for approximately a 3% pay increase. Was this fair and reasonable? During the strike of 1994 The union only wanted the same increase that RioTinto Alcan and its unionized workers, CAW 2301, negotiated and nothing more. The District workers union was not greedy for 20% wage hikes and in reading the current press releases by the union it is clearly apparent that the union only wants a fair settlement and decent working conditions, AND NOTHING MORE! My opinion is that it is shameful that in CANADA workers have to negotiate and go on STRIKE for safe and fair working conditions. To this I say, shame on you Ron Poole! And a big shame on you Mayor & Council!!!
EVERY CLOUD HAS A SILVER LINING
Comment by J.CRUIJFF on 31st March 2015
Thanks to a surprise financial occurrence the District of Kitimat will announce a tax rebate this year on Wednesday.
The long suffering citizens are finally getting the break they were long looking for.
With gratitude I salute the Mayor and council for providing us with this windfall.
Comment by Rob Slanina on 31st March 2015
Who are the sources of these facts? are they confirmed by the union?
Facts without context can be damaging.
I think that the city protecting its right to make workforce decisions is sort of vague. It could mean that they are protecting their right to undermine the collective agreement entirely by outsourcing work to non-union contractors.
I would like to see language in the collective agreement that ensures that all outsourced work be done by unionized contractors...that way management still has freedom to manage, but in a capacity that limits their ability to undermine the collective agreement.
Also, I don't mind paying higher taxes if it means that we get better services and a higher standard of integrity with regard to the way we treat workers.
Surely we all know by now that this CA isn't being held up by wage demands...
...do we know what the pending demands of the union are?