Membership at Heritage Credit Union and HG Insurance reject final offer, remain in legal strike position
Employees at Heritage Credit Union and HG Insurance in Castlegar and Slocan Park soundly rejected a last offer vote and now are once again in a legal strike position.
Workers voted 76 percent not to accept the final offer proposed by Heritage Credit Union and HG Insurance.
“This result qualifies our position that the most important issue — the pension shortfall — still hasn’t been dealt with sufficiently,” USW Local 1-405 Financial Secretary Jeff Bromley, bargaining agent for the employees of the Credit Union and Insurance Agency, said in a written release.
“If the employer was unsure of where we stand on the issue, they surely know now.”
The Employer Heritage Credit Union and HG Insurance had applied for and been granted a Last Offer Vote under the BC Labour Code last week.
The vote was conducted by an Industrial Relations Officer from the Employment Standards Branch Friday at the Credit Union and offices of HG Insurance in Castlegar and Slocan Park.
The resulting rejection of the final offer vote puts the union back into a legal strike position after the union issued 72-hour strike notice last week.
"We're running out of time," Bromley told The Nelson Daily Saturday. "We feel we've taken the high road throughout bargaining and but we're running out of options of what we can do (other than strike)."
The contract expired May 31. In June the union took a strike vote and was handed a 95 percent support from the membership.
The two sides also used mediation.
On August 17 the union issued the company 72-hour strike notice.
However, the union decided to stop any job action until the final offer vote was completed.
The major issue in negotations is pensions.
"Pension is the biggest stumbling block," Bromley confessed. "It's the issue on the table that's been identified from day one."
Bromley said the union has decided to take the weekend to plan strategy and has placed a call into Heritage Credit Union and HG Insurance bargaining committee to hopefully continue negotiations early next week.