Nova Scotia school, hospital workers have tentative deals, Montreal starts strike
Montreal blue collar workers start rotating strikes, without contract since 2007.
Over 6,000 workers in Nova Scotia have avoided striking but blue collar workers in Montreal have just started rotating strikes since being without a contract since 2007.
The school workers reached their agreement with the Annapolis Valley Regional School Board and the Department of Education. No details can be released until ratification votes are held this week, but the Nova Scotia School Board Council of Unions is recommending acceptance of the deal, after successfully resolving the main issue of receiving the same wage increases in 2009 as teachers and other workers in the sector.
Hospital workers were only two hours on the picket line when their tentative deal was struck.
CUPE Acute Care Co-ordinator Wayne Thomas says, "We are very pleased that our strike issue of wage parity has been addressed and that our members are back at work today, taking care of the health care needs of Nova Scotians. We are disappointed, to say the least, that we had to take strike action after giving our employers and the provincial government 12 days notice of a strike deadline and all kinds of time to reach a negotiated settlement."
Thomas also added that at no point did either side walk away from the table and is pleased that the importance of our wage parity issue for workers in rural Nova Scotia was acknowledged by their supporters across the province.
However, in Montreal, it is a different story for the city's "essential services". For forty days, starting this week, workers will be out on strike in one of the nineteen boroughs, or in central city services, in order. Each of the boroughs, as well as city central services, will end up with workers having been on strike for two days. This is the first time a rotating strike has taken place in the City of Montreal.
The goal of the job action is to put pressure on the City while causing as little disruption as possible to the people of Montreal. The union's own proposals on garbage collection and snow removal were essentially accepted by the essential-services council, and unionized workers will be out dealing with any snow fall of more than 9 cm.
Montreals blue-collar workers have been without a contract since the 31st of August, 2007. They have already been forced out on strike for two days in 2009, and have sent a flyer explaining the issues at stake to every home in Montreal.
Links and sources
CUPE web site
Posted: January 25, 2010
Public Values (PublicValues.ca) is a project of the Golden Lake Institute and the online publication StraightGoods.ca