Kimberley locks out workers

City, union management at loggerheads over a new collective bargaining agreement.

  • Aug. 25, 2016 9:00 a.m.

Carolyn GrantKimberley Bulletin

Kimberley is in for a lockout as on Thursday members of Steelworkers Local 1-405 rejected a final offer from the City.

Under the Labour Code, the City of Kimberley had one opportunity to appeal directly to members and present them with the final offer.

The Steelworkers’ bargaining committee has been urging members to reject the offer.And that they did with a count of 65 out of 70 voting no to the offer.

In response the City issued a 72 hour lockout notice, which will go into effect Sunday, August 29 at 5 p.m.

“There had been some hope of reaching an agreement through mediation,” says Chief Administrative Officer Scott Sommerville. “However, on the final day the union committee chair did not bother to attend the mediation and the union added conditions to the previous day’s agreement on a four-year term.

“This along with the rejection of a number of the City’s proposals then led the City’s bargaining committee to present a best and final offer, which was also rejected. With talks breaking down again, the City then chose to present the offer directly to our employees as a last hope of avoiding a work stoppage.”

Jeff Bromley, of the Steelworkers Bargaining Committee says that the vote reinforces what the committee has been doing.

“The agreement was full of errors, mistakes… it was confusing, and the membership wasn’t prepared to accept it.”

Bromley says while he is gratified by the vote, members now face the issue of a lockout.However, the committee is prepared to go back to the table at any time, he said.

“As soon as the votes were counted I walked over to the HR manager and said we are ready to go back to the table at any time. But a couple of minutes later, I had the lockout notice in my email.”

“The City remains committed to the process of negotiating a new collective agreement that is fair and reasonable to employees and taxpayers and that allows the City to efficiently deliver services,” Sommerville said. “The City’s bargaining team remains available for negotiations.

“With the last offer being presented from the City, the Union has yet to contact the City to book any further bargaining dates.”

So what will happen to city services?

In the city press release, the basics were outlined:

• Fire Department and RCMP – will operate as normal

• City Hall – closed Monday, August 29th – New Hours will be 10-2 Monday to Friday

• Garbage – New Schedule

• Aquatic Centre – will be closed indefinitely on Sunday, August 28th

• Civic and Marysville Arenas- will be closed indefinitely on Sunday, August 28th

• Centennial Hall – will be closed except for existing bookings.

• Water and Wastewater – will operate as normal

• Cemetery – will operate as normal

• Road Maintenance – some delays are expected

• Bylaw Enforcement – some delays and service reductions should be expected

• Building Inspection – service will not be available

“The City has been operating under threat of strike for more than two months, since the union membership approved a strike mandate on June 21st,” Sommerville said in a city press release.

“Since the beginning of negotiations, the Union has filed 72 grievances, and we have seen eight new Short-Term Disability and WorkSafeBC claims. Attendance and productivity is also dropping, as the uncertainty takes its toll on all of our employees.”Bromley says the bargaining committee will meet to go over the next steps in preparation for the “city-initiated job action.”



Just Posted

A tent housing a mobile vaccination clinic. (Interior Health/Contributed)
Over 5K jabbed at Interior Health mobile COVID-19 vaccine clinics

The clinics have made stops in more than 40 communities since launching last week

Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry talks about B.C.’s plan to restart the province during a press conference at Legislature in Victoria, Tuesday, May 25, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
Interior Health COVID-19 cases falling slower than the rest of B.C.

More than a third of provincial cases announced Thursday came from the Interior

Students at Creston Valley Secondary School put together an art installation of a replica residential school room. (Photo by Kelsey Yates)
Creston students create art installation of residential school room

The replica was decorated with a small bed, school uniform, and notes written with pleas for help

A tent housing a mobile vaccination clinic. (Interior Health/Contributed)
Second dose vaccinations accelerating throughout region: Interior Health

To date, more than 675,000 doses have been administered throughout the region

It happened this week in 1914

June 13 - 19: Compiled by Dave Humphrey from the archived newspapers… Continue reading

A small pod of Pacific white-sided dolphins pass by close to shore in Campbell River June 16, 2021. Still capture from video courtesy of Kimberly Hart
VIDEO: Dolphin sunset captured from Vancouver Island shore

Spectacular setting for view of travelling pod of Pacific white-sided dolphins

Police are asking for public assistance in locating Anthony Graham who has been charged with the murders of Kamloops brothers Carlo and Erick Fryer. (RCMP photo)
2 charged, suspect at large in killings of B.C. brothers linked to gang activity: RCMP

Kamloops brothers Erick and Carlo Fryer were found deceased in May on a remote Okanagan road

Albert Health Minister Tyler Shandro and Alberta Premier Jason Kenney unveil an opening sign after speaking about the Open for Summer Plan and next steps in the COVID-19 vaccine rollout, in Edmonton, Friday, June 18, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson
Alberta 1st province in Canada to lift all COVID-19 public health restrictions

70.2% of eligible citizens 12 and older in the province have received a dose of the vaccine

Fraser Health registered nurse Ramn Manan draws a dose of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine into a syringe at a walk-up vaccination clinic at Bear Creek Park, in Surrey, B.C., on Monday, May 17, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
‘Honour our fathers’ with COVID-19 vaccine protection, B.C. urges

109 new cases Friday, 75 per cent of 12 and up immunized

(Paul Henderson/ Chilliwack Progress)
Trutch Avenue in Chilliwack to be renamed to remove racist taint

New name to have Indigenous significance as Chilliwack takes new step toward reconciliation

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is seen during a joint news conference following the EU-Canada Summit, in Brussels, Belgium, Tuesday June 15, 2021. Trudeau says Canada is on track now to have 68 million doses delivered by the end of July, which is more than enough to fully vaccinate all 33.2 million Canadians over the age of 12. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Vaccine deliveries enough to fully vaccinate all eligible Canadians by end of July

Three in four eligible Canadians now have their first dose, nearly one in five fully vaccinated.

Chief Public Health Officer Theresa Tam listens to a question during a news conference, in Ottawa, Tuesday, Jan. 12, 2021. The number of confirmed COVID-19 cases attributed to the highly contagious Delta variant grew in Canada this week. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Canada’s public health agency reports spike in confirmed cases of Delta variant

More than 2,000 cases of the variant confirmed across all 10 provinces and in one territory

Bella Bella is on B.C.’s Central Coast, accessible only by air and ocean. (Tom Fletcher/Black Press)
B.C. provides $22 million for Heiltsuk development on Central Coast

Elders care home project, tourism, lumber mill supported

Most Read