Union wins battle on excluded position

Qualicum Beach CAO Daniel Sailland no doubt has his own reasons for his version of why (town council) locked out the town’s employees.

Qualicum Beach CAO Daniel Sailland no doubt has his own reasons for his version of why (town council) locked out the town’s employees for 34 days. He admits difficulty in describing changes to the final contract language — probably because there weren’t many changes made.

From the beginning of bargaining, the outstanding issue was always the modest two-per-cent wage increase that the town finally agreed to.

For the record: The IT position exclusion issue repeatedly referred to by Mr. Sailland is a matter that was always outside the contract negotiations, as attested to by the provincial mediator. That issue was never part of the mediator’s proposal that Mr. Sailland agreed to recommend to the Qualicum Beach Town Council.

That issue will be dealt with in the usual way, outside of bargaining, by the employer making an application to the Labour Relations Board. To keep suggesting otherwise is frankly baffling.

Your headline rightly states “Union wins battle for two per cent wage hike…” and our members certainly stood firm to get a fair and reasonable contract.

But the legacy from this unprecedented and unnecessary labour dispute will not be in what Mr. Sailland “saved” in workers’ wages and paid out to managers in overtime, but in a workplace where decades of mutual respect have now been replaced by mistrust.

And that is a shame that the Qualicum Beach Town Council will undoubtedly have to address.

Blaine Gurrie, President, CUPE Local 401Nanaimo