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Edmonton Public Library and metropolis administrative workers need to strike: union

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Edmonton librarians and different administrative metropolis staff are making ready for a possible strike that might trigger delays, closures and different interruptions to metropolis providers later this 12 months.

Two latest casual polls by Civic Service Union (CSU) 52 discovered the overwhelming majority of staff in each the Edmonton Public Library (EPL) and Metropolis of Edmonton (COE) bargaining models are prepared to strike — 86 per cent of EPL workers surveyed this month, and 70 per cent of COE staff together with 911 dispatchers, clerical and IT workers, front-facing recreation centre workers, planners and police communications surveyed in September assist taking motion. CSU 52 is certainly one of 5 unions representing civic staff.

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Native union president Lanny Chudyk mentioned negotiations have stalled. Workers have been with no contract since 2020 and haven’t had raises since 2018, he mentioned. The town and union collectively utilized for mediation final week.

“If we have been to go to a piece stoppage, we don’t take that evenly. We’re not doing it as a result of we’re grasping — we’d be prepared to accept a good and equitable supply,” he informed Postmedia Monday.

If mediation is unsuccessful, Chudyk mentioned staff might take strike motion in late December or after the vacation season. He mentioned paratransit service (DATS) staff who’re a part of this union can be excluded from a strike.

What town is proposing — a freeze for 2021, a one per cent increase in 2022 and a two per cent increase in 2023 — just isn’t sufficient, Chudyk mentioned. Employees already took freezes in the course of the pandemic.

“It’s not honest, it’s not equitable, they usually have been saying loud and clearly to their union management that isn’t adequate,” he mentioned.

“I can’t emphasize how vital CSU’s construction is to each single service that residents depend on, and each single service different unions within the metropolis present additionally.”

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He hopes town will make concessions throughout mediation they usually can attain a deal with no need to strike. “ATU and town are near an settlement on their DATS negotiations that will likely be passable to each events,” he mentioned Monday.

Chudyk didn’t specify how a lot of a rise the union is searching for.

Metropolis spokeswoman Lisa Glover mentioned town is optimistic the mediator will assist each events attain an settlement.

“The town is dedicated to reaching an settlement that’s honest and equitable for workers, town and taxpayers. The town has, and can proceed to, discount pretty and in a fiscally accountable method,” she said in an electronic mail Monday.

The town has a contingency plan within the occasion of a piece stoppage, she added.

Settlements and taxes

The union’s name for wage will increase comes after an arbitrator imposed a brand new contract between the Edmonton Police Service (EPS) and town in July, a rise that elements into the higher-than-expected tax charge proposed for subsequent 12 months.

However Chudyk mentioned it’s disingenuous to border the increase for law enforcement officials, and different pending wage settlements, as the explanation behind the steep enhance proposed.

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As a substitute, he mentioned Edmonton ought to have budgeted higher and adopted how contract negotiations have been enjoying out in different Canadian cities. The town can also be carrying a excessive debt load due to vital capital spending up to now a number of years, he mentioned.

“I used to be shocked to listen to they could not have budgeted (for the police enhance),” Chudyk mentioned.

“Poor budgeting, dream budgeting, after which when you realize you have already got a big capital expenditure challenge, and taxes going up … $100 million for bike lanes in that ambiance is sort of unbelievable.”

In the meantime, the union representing DATS drivers is near reaching a cope with town, mentioned Steve Bradshaw, president of Amalgamated Transit Union (ATU) 569.

“ATU and town are near an settlement on their DATS negotiations that will likely be passable to each events,” he mentioned Monday.

A ratification vote is anticipated within the subsequent few weeks.

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