The City of Revelstoke workers voted to strike yesterday.
According to a news release from CUPE 363, workers voted “an overwhelming majority” in favour of taking job action.
CUPE 363 President Jesse Adam said Revelstoke workers are facing an affordability crises and negotiations with the City of Revelstoke are “not going well.”
Adam said the strike vote shows the city that its employees want a fair deal.
“Our workers are being left behind.”
According to a report released last year from the Living Wage for Families Campaign, Revelstoke has the third highest living wage requirement in the province at $18.90.
Adam said workers are seeking a pay raise and a new contract as the last collective agreement with the city expired over a year ago in 2018. In the last contract, workers got an 8.5 per cent wage increase over five years, or about 1.6 per cent per year.
“We want to get back to the bargaining table, no more delays. We’ve been more than patient,” Adam said.
He continued that the union is waiting to hear back from the city for bargaining dates.
The strike vote comes one day after the City of Revelstoke council proposed giving themselves a raise, which caused Councillor Steven Cross to resign. Adam said council’s pay raise could have influenced members to vote for strike.
“Considering the significant raises the Mayor and Council gave themselves and City management, the modest increases our members are asking for are clearly fair and reasonable,” said Adam.
Although CUPE 363 has voted to strike, they are not yet on strike. The vote gives union leaders the ability to authorize a strike. If they decide to strike, the union has to give a 72 hours notice and during the strike all of the city’s non-essential services would halt.
— Paul Faoro (@paulfaoro) January 23, 2020
CUPE 363 represents approximately 100 members who provide a wide variety of municipal services in Revelstoke including snow removal and road maintenance; parks and recreation; arena and aquatics centre; sewer and water; garbage collection; as well as administrative services like bylaws; building inspection; finance, engineering and planning departments; and services at the RCMP detachment.
If a strike is called, the union would meet with the employer to determine what would constitute as an essential service.