Garbage strike ends: CUPE 1004 ratifies tentative agreement overwhelmingly

    VANCOUVER, Oct. 14 /CNW/ - A year after negotiations first began and
after 88 days on strike, CUPE 1004 members finally have a contract and one
that the members have overwhelmingly ratified (85% City; 81% Parks) in a vote
today, Sunday October 14, 2007.
    "We're excited to have a fair contract that we can be proud of," says
CUPE 1004 President Mike Jackson. "This contract will help retain skilled
employees and attract new ones. This is beneficial for the workers, but it is
also beneficial to the city and the public that requires quality public
    CUPE 1004 members voted today on a tentative agreement that was reached
Friday between the union and the city after Foley's recommendations did not
pass the local union's two-thirds majority test. The final contract is based
on the recommendations, but also includes items that were "tweaked" by the two
parties, including:

    -  Improved benefit coverage - acupuncture has been added to the list of
       items covered and employees will receive complete benefit coverage
       after their first month of employment rather than after their sixth
    -  A joint committee to address the assignment of overtime was
    -  The Olympic partnership agreement was adjusted to include an expedited
       dispute resolution process and system for assigning Olympic work.
    -  Areas of feasibility (horticulture, golf courses, sanitation) were
       identified for consideration by the compressed work week committee.
    -  Return to work agreement includes extension of time limit to return
       from 10 days to 14 days.
    -  Grievances will no longer be deemed abandoned after 90 days.

    The workers will begin returning to work on Monday, October 15, 2007.

    "We are looking forward to getting back to work," says Jackson, and
appreciate the patience and support we have received from the public as they
have done without regular garbage, parks and street services for almost three
months now."
    Jackson is still uncertain how many CUPE 1004 members will ultimately
return to their city jobs, since so many found alternate employment during the
strike. However, they do have two weeks, which should allow those who are
working time to give adequate notice. He is encouraging his members to return
to work for the City of Vancouver, saying the contract is a fair one and
vowing he will work with the employer to improve management-employee
relations, which have been hurt by the strike and tensions leading up to it.


    CUPE 1004 has two different contracts, one with the City of Vancouver
(approx. 1,200 workers in water, sewage, street repairs, garbage collection)
and the other with the Vancouver Board of Parks and Recreation (approx. 700
workers in sanitation, grass mowers, gardeners, outdoor lifeguards, etc.).


For further information:

For further information: Mike Jackson, CUPE 1004 president, (778)
908-8070; Diane Kalen, CUPE Communications, (778) 229-0258

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Canadian Union of Public Employees

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Canadian Union of Public Employees - BC Regional

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