CBRM, inside workers seek conciliation after contract talks break down

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CUPE says about 150 employees in Cape Breton Regional Municipality's civic centre, 911 centre and police lockup are looking for better wages, benefits and time off. (Tom Ayers/CBC - image credit)
CUPE says about 150 employees in Cape Breton Regional Municipality's civic centre, 911 centre and police lockup are looking for better wages, benefits and time off. (Tom Ayers/CBC - image credit)

The Canadian Union of Public Employees is calling for conciliation after contract talks broke down between Cape Breton Regional Municipality and its inside workers.

CUPE Local 933 represents about 150 employees in CBRM's civic centre, 911 centre and police lockup.

The union said the employer issued a final offer after only four days of bargaining.

National representative Tammy Martin said the main sticking points are wages, benefits and time off.

"It's not just all about the money, especially in this new world we find ourselves in," she said. "We're trying to find the proper work-life balance."

The 911 workers were facing burnout last year and special constables who look after people in the police lockup are looking for parity with provincial jailers and special constables in Halifax police holding cells.

CBC
CBC

CBRM's outside workers avoided a lockout or strike late last year after ratifying a new contract in December.

About 300 employees in Local 759 — including transit, public works, water and wastewater management, parks and grounds maintenance, building and arena maintenance, as well as cleaning and janitorial services — got raises of three per cent in the first year and two per cent in each of the following years until the contract expires in October 2024.

Martin said the inside workers have different issues, but expect to be treated equally when it comes to wages.

The municipality has accepted the union's request for conciliation.

"CBRM has mutually agreed to proceed to conciliation and hopes to come to a negotiated resolution on the outstanding items," said spokeswoman Christina Lamey.

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