CUPE strike postponed amid negotiations

Tentative deal pending approval from EPC


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The City of Winnipeg and the local chapter of the Canadian Union of Public Employees have reached a tentative deal as they work to avoid an impending labour strike.

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The City of Winnipeg and the local chapter of the Canadian Union of Public Employees have reached a tentative deal as they work to avoid an impending labour strike.

CUPE Local 500, representing nearly 5000 City workers, announced the potential agreement Monday night.

“Both parties worked hard over the weekend with the help of the conciliator to get this deal done and put a pause on strike action,” CUPE 500 President Gord Delbridge said in a written statement. “Ultimately, it will be up to the membership to decide if the offer is acceptable.”

CUPE will not release further details until its members have reviewed the terms, it said, adding that all union members who work for the city are eligible to attend information meetings and vote on the settlement.

The union plans to provide the date, time and location of membership meetings to each member directly, it said.

CUPE’s strike deadline, established last week, was set for 11:59 p.m. Tuesday. If union members and the city could not reach an agreement beforehand, workers would walk off the job, it said.

If the strike did occur, it would be the first general municipal workers’ strike since 1919 and impact numerous city services, including pools, libraries, 311, public works and water and waste departments.

“I think that nobody really realizes the extent of the magnitude of us going on strike, and I think that’s going to have a significant impact,” Delbridge said at the time.

Wages are a key issue in the dispute.

In July, the city proposed a four-year deal with a maximum wage increase of 1.75 per cent. CUPE rejected the offer, citing soaring inflation rates.

Delbridge previously said CUPE has been pushing for a deal for more than a year and a half.

“Our members have been very fair and reasonable… We know that the employer is struggling financially as well. We’re willing to share that burden with the employer, but we’re not going to wear it all in its entirety,” he said.

For its part, the City of Winnipeg is facing an enormous financial challenge, expecting to end 2022 with an operating deficit of $55.9 million and a $14.7 million Winnipeg Transit shortfall.

The city attributed the financial woes to gas prices, snow-clearing costs, inflation, revenue losses and COVID-19.

The tentative agreement is now pending approval from city council’s Executive Policy Committee, which is expected to review the agreement terms and make a decision in the coming days, CUPE said.



Updated on Monday, October 10, 2022 10:12 PM CDT: Adds related posts.

Updated on Tuesday, October 11, 2022 8:39 AM CDT: Corrects typo in deck

Updated on Tuesday, October 11, 2022 9:39 AM CDT: Minor copy edits

Updated on Tuesday, October 11, 2022 10:00 AM CDT: Fixes byline

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