City of Prince Albert rejects union’s latest offer to get back to the bargaining table

In an attempt to reach a deal before a full withdrawal of services, CUPE 882 submitted a new offer of settlement on Friday.

“Based on the limited costing information provided by the City on Friday, the union reduced the monetary costs of our proposal by reducing additional duty pay and vacation entitlements, and re-directing our wage improvement proposal,” said Mira Lewis, CUPE National Representative. “We put forward a reasonable offer which we believed would be a good starting point for re-opening discussions. However, on Sunday afternoon, the employer rejected the union’s latest offer and continues to refuse to negotiate with us.”

“CUPE 882’s bargaining committee is ready and willing to sit down at the table and do the work needed to reach a deal before the strike deadline,” added Lewis. “A deal cannot be reached without both sides talking to each other.”

Workers at the City of Prince Albert have been working to rule since August 10 by refusing to train management, co-workers, and contractors and ignoring dress codes. The union gave notice that it plans to move forward with a full withdrawal of services on September 11, 2023.

“Wages at the City of Prince Albert have stagnated. Many of our members are barely making minimum wage,” said Cara Stelmaschuk, Vice President of CUPE 882. “We know that recruitment and retention are an issue for the city. Improving wages and working conditions is the only way to address this issue.”

Though the city has been saying their 11% offer is the best in Saskatchewan, many municipal settlements have all been higher than the City of Prince Albert’s offer, including:

• Town of Wakaw: 2021 + 5%, 2022 + 4%, 2023 + 4%, 2024 + 4%, 2025 + 4%
• Town of Biggar: 2022 + 4%, 2023 + 3%, 2024 + 3%, 2025 + 3%, 2026 + 3%
• Town of Watrous: 2022 + 3.5%, 2023 + 4.5%, 2024 + 4%, 2025 + 3.5%
• Town of Kindersley: 2022 + 3.5%, 2023 + 5%, 2024 + 3.5%, 2025 + 2.5%, 2026 + 2.5%

This is the first CUPE job action in over 12 years, and the first strike in CUPE Local 882’s 70-year history.

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