Saanich council 'playing the ostrich' in library dispute



    City's reason for denying union delegation to meeting doesn't wash, says
    CUPE 410

    VICTORIA, Sept. 28 /CNW/ - Saanich's municipal council is sticking its
head in the sand by refusing to accept a union delegation to its regular
meeting on October 1, the union representing Greater Victoria Public Library
workers charged today.
    CUPE 410, whose members have closed the library system with strike action
three times since September 7, contacted Saanich staff on Tuesday requesting
delegation status at the upcoming meeting. Two days later, the union was
informed that Saanich council meetings "do not have a public presentation or
delegation section," and that "all labour relations in Saanich are dealt with
In Camera."
    That response only adds insult to injury, says CUPE 410 president Ed
Seedhouse.
    "First the Library, their bargaining agent, and the municipalities that
fund them betrayed us by refusing to pay what they agreed to 15 years ago in a
binding agreement," said Seedhouse, referring to a promise to introduce pay
equity with workers doing equivalent jobs at Victoria City Hall.
    "Now Saanich council has refused even to hear us. With four library
branches in Saanich already taking job action, why wouldn't they want to come
forward and try to influence the Greater Victoria Labour Relations Association
- which they broke away from - to get both sides back to the table? They're
really playing the ostrich here."
    Seedhouse said the official reason given for the refusal doesn't make
sense.
    "The Municipality tells us that they deal with all negotiations matters
in camera, but there are no negotiations," he said. "Their bargaining agent
will not discuss Pay Equity at the negotiations table."
    Seedhouse added that library workers plan to be at Saanich municipal hall
"in large numbers" on Monday (Oct 1).
    "Let them refuse us to our faces," he said. "We will just be there,
peacefully waiting to be listened to."





For further information:

For further information: Ed Seedhouse: CUPE 410 president: (250)
588-9565; Tammy Simonds: CUPE Representative: (250) 812-7197; Dan Gawthrop,
CUPE Communications: (604) 999-6132

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Canadian Union of Public Employees

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