The city tendered its final contract offer directly to union employees yesterday, skirting their bargaining committee.
The offer, which was made to CUPE Local 15, which represents inside workers such as technical and administrative staff, includes a 10-per-cent wage increase and no reduction in employee benefits. It also includes an additional four-per-cent pay increase for special technical positions to enhance recruitment and retention. The length of the final contract offer would be 39 months.
“There was concern expressed about benefits and we feel we addressed them in this offer,” said Jerry Dobrovolny, assistant city engineer, saying there had been no layoffs in more than a decade.
The contract length ensures civic labour stability through the 2010 Olympic Games, said Dobrovolny.
The union was neither impressed with the offer nor the city’s attempt at what it feels was an end-around.
“We’re disappointed they would pull a stunt like this,” said Paul Faoro, CUPE Local 15 president. “We saw this movie in Delta where they turned down their offer and we’ll see it here.”
The Olympics timetable, internal hiring and bumping provisions were the main sticking points, said Faoro.