The CUPE 391 bargaining committee showed up to bargain our local issues bright and early last Sunday morning. In good faith, we agreed to a media blackout, which extended not just to the media but to our members. Unfortunately, after five long and frustrating days, we could no longer justify leaving our dedicated members in the dark.
After a total of over sixty-four hours during which we were available to meet with the employer, they met with us for a total of three hours and five minutes. We can assure you that every effort was made on our part to be creative and flexible when we did meet with the employer. We further amended our proposals and emphasised our flexibility in an effort demonstrate our good faith and willingness to reach an agreement. We attempted to problem-solve to circumvent any roadblocks. We did this only to have the employer demonstrate their lack of respect for our members and their issues by dragging their feet and giving us ultimatums that we just could not accept. Not only did they expressely tell us they were not going to discuss any of our local issues, they tabled yet another concession.
By this afternoon, as the three locals waited yet again to hear back from the employer, it was decided that we couldn’t allow this state of affairs to continue. It was a game that the city, LMT and the GVRD were playing, but for what purpose we can not fathom. One thing was perfectly clear, our employer does not want to reach an agreement.
The three locals decided it was time to lift the media blackout so that we could actually get information to our members and the public about what has essentially been an inane process.
Your bargiagining committee is exhausted and emotionally spent. We want to assure you that more details will be forthcomming, but this is all for tonight. See you on the picket line.