Conciliator appointed for collective bargaining negotiations

Conciliator to assist talks between City and CUPE locals 241, 973 and 1946

GUELPH, ON, March 8 – The Ontario Ministry of Labour has appointed a conciliator following the City’s request for help in negotiating new collective agreements with the City’s CUPE unions.

“We value the work of all City employees in delivering important public services to our community,” said Ann Pappert, chief administrative officer. “We have been negotiating with CUPE since last fall and, while progress has been made, there are outstanding matters that are simply unaffordable for our taxpayers. Our goal is to negotiate affordable settlements that protect taxpayers’ interests and provide fair, equitable and competitive compensation to employees.”

If – after working with both parties – the conciliator reports a settlement is unlikely, the Minister of Labour may issue a “No Board” report. Seventeen days after the report is issued the unions would be in a legal strike position and the City would be in a legal lockout position, although the Minister may offer to provide a mediator to further help both parties to reach settlements.

Until a “No Board” report is issued, it is impossible to predict whether or when a strike or lockout might occur.

The City will continue to report on its progress toward reaching affordable collective agreements.

The City employs full-time and regular part-time positions in each of the CUPE bargaining units. CUPE 241 represents Guelph’s 345 full-time and regular part-time outside employees. CUPE 973 represents 228 full-time and regular part-time office employees and CUPE 1946 represents 129 full-time and regular part-time library employees. All CUPE collective agreements expired January 31.