Strike against the city and the transit system are now distinct possibilities - picket lines around city hall?

News 100 redBy Staff

June 27, 2015


James Ridge Day 1

City manager James Ridge wants union workers to understand the issues before the walk off their jobs.

In a message to the citizens of the city Burlington city manager James Ridge, who seldom makes public comments, said on the city’s web site:

The City of Burlington’s bargaining committee is scheduled to meet with the union’s bargaining committee on Monday, June 29, 2015. The city is committed to working hard to reach a resolution that is fair to our employees and responsible to our taxpayers. If we are unsuccessful, the union has advised us that we can expect a strike.

To be very clear, the city does not want a strike. Strikes are hard on everyone–union members, management, City Council and, most especially, city residents.

Before you go on strike, we urge you to understand the issues and make sure you communicate your views with your union. We simply ask that you know what is at stake and make good decisions.

Burlington city hall with clock

Will there be picket lines around city hall?

That last sentenced had the thread of threat in it – well what are the issues and what is at stake?

Corporations are usually loath to involve media in the labour bargaining process – it muddies things up. The city is negotiating collective agreements with two unions: CUPE Local 44, outside workers and arena/outdoor pool operators, and Local 2723, Burlington Transit workers. Both unions have stated that if there is no agreement by the end of June, they will begin strike action as of midnight (12:01 a.m.) on July 2, 2015.

The unions maintain that benefits for workers over the age of 65 are written into the existing collective agreement but are not being paid. A staff member at a senior level who asked not to be named has said that the city and the outside workers are “not that far apart but that there is considerable distance between the city and the transit drivers.”

Burlington’s transit drivers earn considerably less than their counterparts in Hamilton and Oakville.

If there is a strike there will certainly be picket lines – will the inside workers cross those pickets lines.

Get ready for some disruption.

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1 comment to Strike against the city and the transit system are now distinct possibilities – picket lines around city hall?

  • Centerline

    The City has always paid like their in the Minor leagues, but want to play in the Majors. No wonder they have a staff retention problem at all levels, especially in the upper ranks