Kootenay Savings staff vote to strike

The United Steelworkers say pension language protection and the lack of a wage increase are the biggest stumbling blocks.

Kootenay Savings Credit Union is headed to mediation after employees voted 94 per cent in favour of a strike.

United Steelworkers locals 9705 and 1-405, which represents 110 employees at branches and offices in Salmo, South Slocan, Kaslo, Trail, Fruitvale, Castlegar, and Kimberley, said the move came after 17 days of contract negotiations over the past six months.

In a news release, the union said key sticking points remain pension language protection, hours of work for the new member service centre, limiting of member health benefits, and no wage increase for two years.

Pension language was an issue in the last round of bargaining in 2011, Steelworkers staff Rep and lead negotiator Dean Lott said: “This issue was arbitrated by Vince Ready and he found in favour of the union. We’re not prepared to give that language up.

“We understand the pressures put upon this employer and other credit unions in the region. In the current low-interest rate environment they are not making the money they used to. But that being said, our members are doing more and more with less.”

Lott said the credit union has cut costs by shaving positions and not replacing people when they leave or retire, distributing the duties to the remaining employees.

“The strike vote is a strong message to the employer: our members are doing their part and they deserve better.”

The sides are headed to mediation, with dates expected to be scheduled soon.

“Kootenay Savings will be making no comments during negotiations,” CEO Brent Tremblay said.

The Nakusp, New Denver, Radium, and Invermere branches are not unionized.

Just Posted

Castlegar’s Stanley Humphries School’s got talent

Talent show to be held Feb. 21 at Brilliant Cultural Centre

What’s Up: Things to see and do on Family Day

There’s plenty of fun to be had across the West Kootenay this coming long weekend!

Province announces $23 million for upgrades at Kootenay Boundary Regional Hospital

West Kootenay-Boundary Regional Hospital District Board has yet to review the provincial proposal

Selkirk College Saints score pair of crucial wins

Stellar goaltending and timely goals lead to victory over the Vancouver Island University Mariners.

UPDATE: Two-car accident closes Highway 3A at Thrums

Road expected to open for single-lane alternating traffic at 2 p.m.

‘Just like Iron Man’: Calgary surgeon undergoes experimental spinal surgery

Dr. Richi Gill was in a freak accident on a boogie board during a family vacation in Hawaii

Ammonia leak shuts down curling club in Nelson

It’s not yet clear when the leak was detected

Deported B.C. man who came to Canada as a baby granted chance at return

Lee Van Heest was deported to the Netherlands in 2017

A Mother’s Wish: Ryan Shtuka’s mother wants her son to be ‘forever known’

‍‍‍‍‍“Let me tell you a story …. it all began with a boy named Ryan”

Sex abuse survivors to meet with Vatican summit organizers

Pope Francis has urged participants to meet with abuse victims before they came to Rome

Ex-FBI official: ‘Crime may have been committed’ by Trump

Andrew McCabe said FBI had good reason to open a counterintelligence investigation into whether Trump was in league with Russia

B.C. athlete takes home gold in freestyle aerials at Canada Games

Brayden Kuroda won the event with a combined score of 121.65.

Most Read