Let's keep things cool in Belleville, CUPE says



    Union urges residents to tell councillors to vote for negotiation, not
    confrontation

    BELLEVILLE, ON, July 18 /CNW Telbec/ - The union representing
Belleville's municipal workers wants residents to tell their councilors to
make sure bargaining continues in good faith, said Scott Whiteman,
Vice-President of the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) 907.
    "We strongly urge residents to call their Councillors and tell them to
keep things cool in Belleville by voting on Monday to keep talks going,"
Whiteman said on the steps of City Hall today. "Let's put the war of words
aside and get back to the table."
    Council will vote on Monday whether to file for a "no board" through the
Ministry of Labour. A "no board" would indicate that the City believes that a
settlement can't be reached, but CUPE thinks an agreement can still be
reached.
    After the initial meeting in conciliation on July 10, CUPE 907 thought
there was an agreement to meet again the first week of September. Both sides
agreed at that time to a media black-out. But obviously this agreement must
have broken down, because the very next day the union was getting bashed in
the media for holding up talks.
    "Then things went sideways this week with the union being falsely accused
of walking away from the table when it was us who offered to meet over the
weekend of July 11 to 13," said Helen Gibb-Gavel, National Staff
Representative for CUPE 907. "It was the City that said they couldn't meet
over that weekend. It was the Members of the City's bargaining team said they
had family commitments over that weekend and we gladly respected that. It
wasn't us who walked away from the table or delayed discussions."
    "We don't want a disruption of any kind," Whiteman said. "We are proud of
this city and proud of the work we do to make our community strong and healthy
and we want to continue to bargain productively."




For further information:

For further information: Helen Gibb-Gavel, CUPE National Representative,
(905) 242-4207; David Robbins, CUPE Communications, (613) 878-1431

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Canadian Union of Public Employees

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