Mount Pearl municipal workers on strike as union calls for ‘lower benefits’ for new hires

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A group of striking municipal workers demonstrate outside the public works depot on Clyde Avenue in Mount Pearl, Newfoundland (Terry Roberts/CBC)

Mount Pearl municipal workers went on strike shortly after midnight on Thursday, with the union focusing its fight on what it calls “lower benefits” for new hires.

CUPE Local 2099 said more than 200 workers have been in collective bargaining with the city since March.

Ken Turner, president of CUPE 2099, said the union is fighting the city’s plans to implement a “two-tier system” that would mean unacceptable perks for new hires.

Mount Pearl Mayor Dave Aker assured residents that services such as garbage collection and summer camps would continue. Aker said garbage collection will continue on a reduced bi-weekly basis while recycling has been suspended.

He said the Glacier and Summit Center will be closed until further notice.

During an interview with CBC Radio St. John’s Morning ShowTurner said there was a strike mandate of 92%.

“We are committed to the residents of Mount Pearl,” Turner said.

“We always have been. We’re there during these tough times. We were there during Snowmageddon, we were there during the pandemic. When people were home, our frontline workers were there. down, thanked by the city for the work they are doing,” he said.

“But right now we have to protect our collective agreement.”

A group of workers gather in front of a building carrying signs.
Mount Pearl city workers gather outside City Hall on June 28. (Submitted by CUPE/Twitter)

Aker told the St. John’s Morning Show “nothing is set in stone” about a two-tier benefit system.

“We have made good progress so far,” Aker said, referring to recent negotiations.

“But over the last month or so we haven’t been able to get the deal done. We’re working on the details. There are just a few things left and it’s time to keep negotiating,” he said. declared.

“We need a spirit of compromise at the end of the day to get a deal done. We look forward to getting back to the table soon,” he added.

Dozens of CUPE members rallied outside Mount Pearl City Hall on June 28 to draw attention to their labor dispute with the city.

At the time, the city said the collective bargaining process was not over and that it was committed to fair and reasonable collective bargaining.

Local 2099 members work in road maintenance, water and sewer, engineering, recreation services, administration and other fields.

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