Striking clerical, administrative and support staff have rejected the latest offer from the City of Saint John as their strike drags on into a fourth week.
CUPE Local 486 members voted "overwhelmingly" to turn down the proposal in a mass membership vote on Sunday, according to a union news release. The union said the wages fell below inflation and the city's wage-escalation policy.
The inside city workers have been on strike since Sept. 12 after talks halted over pay. The strike has impacted garbage, compost and recycling collection.
The members on strike include workers at Saint John's 911 dispatch centre, where people were quickly trained to temporarily fill in. Other workers include recreation, customer service, people in tech roles, administrative support, permitting, bylaw enforcement and financial services.
The union has been calling for higher wages that keep in line with the cost of living. But the city says its offer is fair and follows a new policy to cap wages within its financial means.
The offers in the contraction negotiations have not been made public.
Union president Brittany Doyle said a new counterproposal is being submitted to the city on Monday, in advance of Tuesday's council meeting.
The current contract offers up to seven weeks of vacation, up to two years of sick benefits, average wages between $65,000 and $75,000, and a full pension, according to the city.