Coldstream negotiations on track: mayor

Mediator booked for November to settle dispute between district and union workers

Negotiations are expected to get underway between the District of Coldstream and municipal workers who voted in favour of strike action in September.

A mediator is lined up for Nov. 16 with the district and Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) Local 626

“We’re happy to continue the negotiations,” Mayor Jim Garlick said, since talks broke down in August.

“I don’t think we’re that far apart (in negotiations).”

Meanwhile some workers attempted to discuss the matter with Coldstream council on Monday, the mayor said.

The Union members were denied discussions at the Oct. 21 meeting.

“You don’t negotiate in public like this. You do it in a more formal process,” Garlick said, adding members appeared to understand and were agreeable.

CUPE Local 626 president Bryce de Dood said talks initially broke down when the district sought a wage settlement that was both lower than the provincial average and surrounding municipalities.

“Just like many residents across the Okanagan, our members are struggling with affordability challenges due to rising housing and other living costs,” de Dood said. “The employer’s proposal would lock us into an agreement that lowers our wages relative to other municipalities and our members cannot afford to move backwards.”

READ MORE: Coldstream municipal workers vote in favour of strike

READ MORE: Offer to CUPE workers on par, better than average: District of Coldstream


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