by Kelly Whiteside
Members of the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) Local 401 in Qualicum Beach have been locked out since July 31, 2015 following unsuccessful negotiations between the town and the union over wage increases.
On August 29, the locked out workers voted to accept a mediator’s recommendations for a new contract. After a meeting today, the Town Council has given a conditional agreement to the recommendations of the Labour Relations Board mediator. The one remaining condition is that the Union confirms their agreement to remove the IT Coordinator position from the Bargaining Unit. The change is consistent with mediated discussions that took place on August 26 and must be resolved prior to ratification.
According to Mayor Teunis Westbroek, “There was a real impasse regarding the financial elements of this agreement, and as such we have laid out conditions that would help us move to accept the Union’s request for two per cent per year. These were agreed upon and we believe they must be in place in order to have a settled agreement. It is now up to the Union to take this last and final step to bring our employees back to work.”