Reject management's discriminatory and insulting offer says CUPE 855 bargaining committee

    LINDSAY, ON, Feb. 29 /CNW Telbec/ - CUPE 855's bargaining committee will
not recommend management's discriminatory and insulting offer to the
400 striking municipal workers at the City of Kawartha Lakes, on strike for
over 26 days now. The workers will vote on management's latest offer on
Sunday, March 2.
    "We will be asking our members to reject management's offer and send a
strong message to the City that our members and this community will not accept
an offer that discriminates against workers over the age of 65," said
Lyn Edwards, CUPE 855 president. "After four weeks of strike, management
failed to address the outstanding issues and gave us a proposal still filled
with concessions."
    "Management seems determined to put a shelf life on workers over the age
of 65 instead of respecting and recognizing their years of service to our
community," continued Edwards. Among the major concessions, management wants
to deny workers over the age of 65 of their right to access long term
disability, accidental death and dismemberment coverage, and extended health
and drug benefits other workers are entitled to. The employer also plans to
dramatically cut sick-leave provisions for workers once they pass the age of
    "Management's offer sends the wrong message to our community - that this
Council and our community approves open discrimination against workers over
the age of 65. That's wrong and we are asking our members to stand together
and fight this injustice," said Edwards.
    "We are faced with a senior management team that is determined to break
the union and will do whatever it takes to force their agenda on front-line
workers and our community - and they don't even live in the City of Kawartha
Lakes," stressed Edwards. "Management has turned down every possible solution
that we proposed to reach a fair settlement. They spent more time trying to
divide our membership and this community."
    "We will present management's offer to members on Sunday, exposing all
the details, and recommend that our members reject it," said Edwards. "We will
settle for nothing less than a fair collective agreement - so far, management
hasn't got the message."

For further information:

For further information: Lyn Edwards, CUPE 855 President, (705)
878-2152; Alison Davidson, CUPE National Rep., (705) 760-5113; James Chai,
CUPE Communications, (416) 292-3999

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