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NEWS RELEASE · 10th April 2015
District of Kitimat
You will have heard that the Mayor has posted a letter regarding bargaining. That posting followed communication with the Union regarding the final offer.

The District is very concerned about the ongoing hardship to employees caused by the strike. The District wants to see the strike end as soon as possible. We want you, our employees at work; earning a living; supporting yourselves and your families; and, at the same time, providing the services all of our citizens enjoy and use.

The District decided to provide the Union with an opportunity to agree to the Final Offer by 4:00 p.m. on Sunday or the District will refer bargaining to an external negotiator who will have the authority to conclude a Collective Agreement. The District is taking this step in an effort to break the impasse which has resulted in a 6-week strike. Our Collective Agreement has significant protection for existing employees. Regular Employees cannot be laid off as a result of contracting out.

Along with a 2.5% wage increase in each year 2015 to 2017 the District’s Final Offer improved the previous Collective Agreement with the following:

• Converting some part-time positions into 10 new full-time positions in the Leisure Services Department over two years. Six in year one, four in year two

• Transitioning Labourers to the Equipment Operator III position

• All Crew Leader I’s will be transitioned to the Crew Leader II rate

• Elevating two positions to Heavy Equipment Operators

• Updating and re-signing the “No Layoff” letter of agreement

• Engaging services of a Health and Safety Officer

• Increased wages for Leisure Services summer students

• Enhanced Training Program

• Improve reimbursements for training recertification

• Increased coverage for safety boots from $175 to $200

• Reimbursement of steel toed rubber boots, $200 once every two years

• Increase in mechanic’s tool allowance to $250

• Hearing Aid $1,500 per ear, over two years

• Chiropractic/naturopathic $800 annually

• Speech therapist $2,000 annually

• Psychologist $900 annually

• Orthopaedic shoes $600 annually for adults and dependent children

• Orthodontic coverage $5000 including white fillings

• Eyeglass coverage $500 every two years; eye exam $100 every two years

• Birth control $300 annually

• A 50% recreation subsidy

The District has a Harassment Policy. The District is required to comply with new Work Safe regulations on bullying and harassment and with the Human Rights Code which prohibits discrimination. Our Policy was the result of consultation with the Union and the International Association Fire Fighters Local 1304. The policy covers and protects all employees of the District of Kitimat and Council.

A copy of the District’s Final Offer tabled on February 26, 2015 and a copy of the Collective Agreement is available to anyone who would like to review these. Email: info,,,kitimat.ca for a copy.

Finally, we want to comment on the Council meeting of April 7, 2015 and the role of Council. Kitimat Council has authority to make broad policy decisions and set the overall direction of the District. Council is given that authority by law, the Community Charter. We are not aware of any Council becoming directly involved in bargaining as that is not their role. However, Mayor and Council did meet with the Union’s bargaining committee in December 2014 and then gave the District Administrators a mandate within which to negotiate. The Union disagrees with that mandate.

In summary, we give the Union an opportunity to agree to our Final Offer and sign a collective agreement to break this impasse. We hope to conclude a collective agreement and have you return to work as soon as possible.
When in dought
Comment by Pinnwheel on 19th May 2015
Well I've allways said if you don't like it QUIT !
I've Quit many jobs for the same reasons and always ended up better off in the end.....
When in Dought Contract It Out.....
It's nothing personal it's just bussiness, find a new job, your in bussiness for you and big bussness doesnt give a dam about the little guy your just a cog in the wheel. But if you choose to stay by all means continue on whinning and bitching and demanding to get what smelter workers get, your just pissing in the wind......
Take this offer and be thankful
Comment by Cem on 27th April 2015
When I read over what the District of Kitimat is offering for general labour with no experience or certificates for part-time workers they should be thankful for what they are getting compared to some areas in BC. Everyone needs a decent paycheck to live comfortably but to compare to Rio Tinto where with most jobs you need to have special training.
the blooming daffodils
Comment by citizen on 17th April 2015
Who do you think planted the bulbs last fall that are blooming now? The blooming Gardners that's who. Those Gardners work Damn hard on all our gardens around town and that's the appreciation they get? Wake up kitimat! Who do you think plants the rest of the flowers around town come May??
The flowers are still blooming
Comment by Cem on 17th April 2015
The daffodils are blooming and without the help of the district gardeners. Lay them all off and then maybe they will realize what it is to at least have a job.
Member At Large
Comment by Stan Shoesmith on 15th April 2015
Though I can understand the concern regarding birth control from some community members. Rest assure, we are all slowly being sterilized by Chemtrails. Agenda 21 is at it's zenith. These mundane local issues are irrelevant.
Cool down
Comment by rob on 14th April 2015
I'm with Hans
May I suggest a twenty day cooling off period, to put constructive use of the time needed to restart the negotiations? Which will allow both parties to get well versed on the talking points? This cooling will allow for a more controlled dialogue between the parties, set agendas; and allow the third party time to digest the issues to understand the whole.
To the "Clarification"...
Comment by Stevern Davword on 14th April 2015
Let's just pretend for a second that you're right and that isn't part of the package the DoK is proposing... but maybe they could take the initiation and make that more clear for the public.

Perhaps it isn't true that they're making people take Birth Control, but if it isn't true why is it still such a hot button issue on these message boards?

I'm not saying I'm a lawyer, but if I was I wouldn't just take the mayor's word for it when so many people are concerned about this issue.

Would you take their word for it if they said the sky isn't falling even though you know in your heart it is? I wouldn't bet not.

Linda = government shill? Who knows?
birthcontrol
Comment by H.Sanou on 14th April 2015
The people that are against birth control are probably in favour of Viagra.
Me, I am in favour of retro active birth control, reading some of the statements made during this set of negotiations.
Word of advise to the Union, go back to work until the mediator books out as a sign of good faith and vote on the mediator's recommendation and take it from there.
Linda.
Comment by Geraldine on 14th April 2015
First of all... let me clarify something for you, Linda if they aren't forcing women (and I suspect men) to take birth control, then why is it in the agreement at all? If it seems suspicious that's because it is.

I'll explain why.

During the 1978 contract negotiations, the district fought for and was granted the right to force every female (and perhaps male) employee to use birth control. Why? So the district could keep their trained employees and not lose them to maternity leave. This maintains workplace efficiency and spares the tax payers dollars from paying both maternity leave and the temporary replacements salary. This may seem far fetched, but a bit of research into the subject matter and you’ll see how oppressed these district employees really are. You see, Linda? It's simple math.

Wanna know what isn't simple math? The Canadian Bill of Rights.

Just like the federalists of old the union wants the freedom to choose when and with whom they have babies... and just like the tyrannical iron fist of the King of England, the oppressive government of today will have NONE OF IT!
Literacy would serve you well
Comment by Ralph Bartel on 14th April 2015
People, people, people. Please take your time to read and understand what you are reading before posting. The District is offering $300 per year benefit for birth control to the female employee if she so chooses to participate in preventing pregnancy. This is just basic comprehension for God's sake!
Speech Therapist & Birth Control
Comment by J. on 14th April 2015
$2000 bucks to teach union members not to swear on live TV.

$300 dollars for birth control to prevent more union members from being born.

$1500 dollars for hearing aids so the union can finally hear the word NO clearly.

$900 for a shrink to tell union reps that having wages matching RTA is delusional.


Clarification
Comment by Linda on 13th April 2015
People do realize that the DOK is not forcing women employees to take birth control...right? People understand that it most likely was introduced into the contract by the union...right? People do realize that because it is in the union package that it does not mean that women have to take birth control....right? Wow.
Sickening
Comment by Geraldine on 13th April 2015
I understand exactly how the employees of the DOK feel. A poisonous work environment, where the women are FORCED to take birth control, is just the cherry on top of the garbage sundae that employees are forced to eat on a daily basis. Regardless of how this strike is resolved, i believe the poisonous work environment will continue for years and years due to the lack of empathy showed to employees by upper management.
Population Control??
Comment by Stevern Davword on 13th April 2015
Oh so now the DoK is forcing their employees to take birth control? When will these big brother loving liberals learn? GET THE GOVERNMENT OUT OF THE BEDROOM AND OUT OF MY POCKETS!
egos
Comment by kitimat first on 11th April 2015
this strike is all about egos, the newly elected mayor who won the last election with the help of this towns biggest unions finds it appropriate to stab the people who voted him in ok. and on the other hand we have a union president who feels its ok to yell and look like an ass and expect to get a deal done in this fashion is appropriate ! two rookie people who think they are doing the right thing are making this town and themselves look like fools and in the process playing with peoples lives ! the only good outcome of this is we are going to have a one term mayor and a one term union president...I hope you both (phil/marty) are not expecting to be voted in again, because you wont be ! how stupid we look to the rest of the province/country.
Temporary employees
Comment by Cole on 11th April 2015
It's great that the district is trying to offer something and by the looks of it has changed some language on some aspects. But what happens when your first hired,as a temporary employee. When can you become full time -5,10, 20 years later? And you can be terminated for any reason. Their should be language like at Rta after 1500 hrs you have to be the next in line for a full time job. The banks won't touch you because temporary employees are still part time workers. The district should show a new employee that they have a future in this community instead of just a temporary one . It sad that an employee for the district has to spend 20 years just to be considered full time ! Wow , no wonder everyone left the district to work for us and the modernization..
Seems fair on the surface
Comment by Vern on 11th April 2015
To my eyes it looks like a very good offer but underneath I hear talk of a unhealthy workplace. Problems in the workplace can not be solved over night it is something that takes time and is better addressed outside this negotiation, otherwise this strike could go on much longer.

As taxpayers we pay for the services we can not now enjoy and the piles of gravel on the road are a real hazard for those of us bringing out our bikes. Do the taxpayers get a refund for services not supplied.

I feel for the families of the workers on strike but something is off about these negotiations. Easy to point fingers so best to say that both parties could have done a better job. Maybe the union could ask for help from the large union in our town who has been in many sets of negotiations and maybe the Council and Mayor could sit in to help settle this mess.

keep us informed
Comment by Kitimat citizen on 11th April 2015
Thank you for on going updates. As a concerned citizen I wish to learn of achievements and sadly set backs
I would like to know what the big 3 demands that the union is asking and for which you feel you must stall on
Wishing both sides a speedy and peaceful resolution. This strike has the entire community saddened sickened and wondering what's around the next corner
Birth control pills, on and on
Comment by Cem on 11th April 2015
This is a new one for me...birth control pills ? the benefits the district worker get is better than what workers at Rio Tinto gets or employees that are now retired, just for planting flowers and cutting the grass etc.
I do hope real thinking goes on before Sunday
Comment by Jon on 10th April 2015
I am glad that it was clarified that a Council does not enter into direct negotiations.

This town has a small population and over 30% are over 55 years of age. Many are newcomers and are not privy to the longstanding feuds and nastiness that seem to be happening on a number of sites including this one. Who cares that you got dissed a long time ago.

Union members will never make up the wages lost.

Now start thinking and looking at the offers OR go to arbitration and lose more wages until it is settled.



Enough of the media play
Comment by Annoyed citizen on 10th April 2015
Maybe if DOK spent more time negotiating and less time putting together media releases then this strike would be over.
I mean they have skeleton crew staff, an entire city to run and most importantly a contract to negotiate and they keep releasing these silly messages to the community when there are clearly more important things to deal with.
As a citizen I am annoyed! Any person with half a brain can see it's a public relations play to spin the bad publicity that DOK is getting now that some of their dirty laundry is being aired to save face.
Get over yourself DOK and get the job done and stop spending the tax payers money to make yourselves look good the truth is out and it's troubling, so fix it!