Editorial: City of Castlegar business goes on

Serious task of labour contract negotiations high on list for administrators

The sunburns and sand rash from the Millennium Ponds grand opening party on B.C. Day may have still been present as the City of Castlegar resumed an ongoing dispute with its CUPE unionized members on Tuesday.

On Monday, city council and staff were on site at Millennium Park, taking well-deserved bows for the realization of a public-friendly project. Tuesday was a day for the City and the Union to fire off opposing press releases, rekindling an issue that has been percolating for more than a year, if not actively making headlines.

On the City side they’ll keep the image of the progressive, populist benefactor handy because it seems they have a lot of uses for it. For now, however, they’re showing that they can also play some hardball when the situation calls for it.

Contract negotiations with a group of more than 30 employees is not about smiles and handshakes until, hopefully, an amicable resolution is arrived at.

The organized workers, as well, are no strangers to standing up for what they feel is right, and fair.

Both sides make strong points on their own behalf, which is par for the course. Both sides point to the other’s overly demanding, uncooperative stance, which is also expected.

The rest of us can only hope an agreement is reached before too much time has elapsed, and too many hard feelings build up.