Town of Tisdale, union reach impasse

TISDALE — The Town of Tisdale and the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE), the union representing town employees, has reached an impasse in negotiations within an hour of voluntary mediation.

“CUPE Local 777-2 is proud to provide quality public services to the residents of Tisdale,” said Janice Janzen, CUPE national servicing representative. “But right now, our members are feeling frustrated and underappreciated. Just 25 minutes down the road, workers at Nipawin earn more money for the same jobs. We are not asking for much – just for fairness and respect.”

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On Oct. 30, the parties met with the mediator to try to come to an agreement in voluntary mediation. As there was no resolve, the union is applying to move the process forward with provincially mediated mediation.

“Though bargaining has broken down, the local is hopeful that a deal can be reached through provincially mandated mediation,” Janzen said. “At this time there is no plan for job action, but CUPE is committed to doing what it takes to reach a fair deal for our members.”

The two parties have not met to discuss essential services in the event of a strike, but the union has agreed that in the event of a strike or other work stoppage that they will provide emergency service sufficient to maintain the town’s water supply and sewerage disposal system.

Brad Hvidston, Tisdale’s administrator, said that should a strike occur the town would come up with a plan to ensure snow removal is completed and the rink remains open.

“We think that we presented a fair offer in today’s environment and we’re hoping that we can come to a resolution with them,” Hvidston said.

Janzen said the town showed little interest in their proposals.

“In order to reach a deal in a timely matter, we initiated a voluntary mediation process. However, after less than one hour of mediation it was clear we had reached an impasse.”

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