CORNER BROOK Corner Brook Mayor Neville Greeley considers the potential of four years of labour rest with city workers a significant accomplishment.
The city and the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) have reached a tentative agreement on a new four-year contract for workers of Local 706 (outside employees) and Local 768 (inside employees). The proposed collective agreements will be effective from Jan. 1, 2013 to Dec. 31, 2016, and applies to 107 employees.
“We are in some challenging times,” Greeley said. “We have a tentative agreement with flexibility, a give-and-take on both sides.
“I don’t know who said it, but when all parties can walk away from a negotiation and neither side is extremely happy nor extremely upset about what they are walking away with, it shows there was give-and-take on both parts. I feel that’s where we are here.”
Detail of the agreement were not available, and the mayor and Todd White, president of Local 706, would not discuss specifics. White also declined comment on the tentative agreement. He said he agreed to continue not discussing things publicly, and that if he did might jeopardize the agreement reached.
Although a press release issued by the city Friday said a ratification vote could happen early next week, White expects it will be during the week of Sept. 2 that his membership will vote on the potential contract.
The bargaining committees for the union will be recommending approval to their membership, according to the press release. A recommendation of approval will also be submitted to city council.
Greeley recognizes these are challenging times to negotiate contracts, especially with each party fighting hard to get as close to their bottom line position as possible.
“Any time you can achieve a negotiated settlement without a work stoppage it shows there has been flexibility on everybody’s part,” he said. “It also shows that each side recognizes the position the other party is bargaining from.”
The settlement was achieved through the co-operative efforts and hard work of the two bargaining committees. Mayor Neville Greeley and Donna Ryan, CUPE National Representative recognized that flexibility from both sides was necessary in order to reach this tentative agreement, and expressed their mutual appreciation of both bargaining committees for their efforts during the negotiation process, according to a prepared release.