Workers at the city water treatment plant, seen here in 2017, and sewage treatment plant rejected the city’s contract offer in a vote held June 24 and 25, 2019.
An attempt to remove contract language prompted a group of City of Saskatoon workers to reject the city’s latest offer, the union local’s president says.Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) Local 47, which represents 130 workers at the city’s water treatment and sewage treatment plants, voted 93 per cent on Monday and Tuesday to reject the city’s contract offer.Local 47 president Troy Daw said Friday the city’s two-year contract offer included low wage increases, as was the case for the other two CUPE locals that settled with city hall since 2016. The contract offer also included concessions on hours of work language, Daw said.Daw acknowledged in an interview that wage increases were linked to a reduction in revenue by the province in 2017 that was beyond city hall’s control.“(The low wage increases are) secondary, definitely, to the hours of work,” Daw said. “We do want to get back to the bargaining table. We do want to resolve this at the table.”The treatment plant workers have been without a contact since 2016 when all but one of the city’s collective agreements expired. Under the contract that expired on Dec. 31, 2016, a water service technician makes an annual salary of $73,059.60.The previous four-year CUPE Local 47 contract included average annual wage increases of 2.5 per cent. CUPE Local 49, the city’s largest union, and Local 859 signed two-year contracts with increases of 0.5 per cent and 1.5 per cent. Both of those contracts expired at the end of 2018.The two unions that cover Saskatoon Police Service employees are the only two city unions that have settled contracts, although those expire this year.The city’s contract talks with the union representing firefighters has been referred to arbitration, according to an email from the city’s media relations division.Talks continue with the Amalgamated Transit Union Local 615, which has been without a contract since March 2017. The union representing transit workers agreed to a new deal at the end of 2016 following a four-year conflict that included a month-long lockout in 2014.The city is assisting TCU Place, which operates in a city-owned building, with talks on a new contract for its employees who have been without a deal since 2016.Saskatoon Public Library workers have also been without a contract since email@example.com/thinktankSKRelated