City/union to resume mediated talks
The City of Castlegar has initiated mediated talks with CUPE Local 2262 (striking city workers) to begin this coming Monday, according to Mayor Lawrence Chernoff.
Chernoff said David Schuab, the Labour Relations Board mediator who wrote recommendations for settlement on Sept. 22 of this year, will be mediating the discussion.
When asked if the city is planning to bring any kind of new offer to Monday’s table, Chernoff said, “I don’t know at this time – there still have to be some discussions. The priority was just to get the meeting on the books.”
He said the move is not the result of pressure brought to bear against council and management on social media and at council meetings, but rather an effort to see the matter resolved before the holiday season begins.
“This is the city taking a leadership role in the negotiation process,” he said.
Union president Leford Lafayette said he’s, “cautiously optimistic” about the talks.
“Yes, we have been wanting to get back to the table for some time, so I guess this is good,” Lafayette said. “I’m hopeful that the city feels we can come to a collective agreement by getting back to the table, and cooler heads will prevail.”
The union’s job action began on Aug. 22 and escalated to a full-blown strike on Nov. 8.