The City of Castlegar has responded to the 72-hour strike notice having been given Friday, August 15 by Local 2262 of the Canadian Union of Public Employees.
Just over 30 unionized employees are involved in the contract impasse which has stretched to more than a year.
In a communique released later on August 15, the City’s Chief Administrative Officer John Malcolm expressed concern, “…that the Union continues to represent that it is the City that needs to come back the bargaining table when it was the Union that booked out the mediator, will not vote on the final offer or provide a counter offer. Then the Union serves strike notice while there are back and forth talks currently happening with City and Union negotiators.”
The City’s press release reiterated that its final offer includes “a wage increase of 5.75 per cent over four years, no concessions, and numerous monetary and language improvements for employees.
“Most notably, City employees are offered superior benefits in the municipal sector such as an increase in extended health benefits coverage from $1,000 a year to $1,500 a year for paramedical services over the course of the agreement as well as optical care coverage rising from $400 to $600 every two years upon ratification.”