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Trenton employees vote in favour of strike mandate

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Municipal workers employed by the Town of Trenton, members of the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) 281, have given their bargaining committee a strong strike mandate in voting that was completed Wednesday, Feb. 6.
According to a release from the union, a tentative agreement was reached on Oct. 19, 2018, and the union ratified the agreement on Oct. 29, 2018.
However, at the December town council meeting, councillors did not ratify the agreement, which was negotiated by the town's former chief administrative officer.
In hopes of finalizing the agreement, the union stated it requested the assistance of a conciliator from the Department of Labour and Advanced Education. Negotiations with the conciliator took place Jan. 30, 2019. The council still did not ratify the tentative agreement, prompting the union to take a strike vote.
"This was a fairly negotiated agreement," says CUPE National Representative Kim Cail. "In our minds, the CAO fulfilled his job responsibilities. The council is not fulfilling theirs."
"This is the first time in our memory that the council has ever done such a thing," says CUPE 281 President John Campbell. "We hope that the council will reconsider and pass the collective agreement at the next meeting."
CUPE Local 281 represents ten members who work for the Town of Trenton in the arena and public works.
Trenton Mayor Shannon MacInnis said he could not comment on the issue because they’re still in negotiations. He did say, however, that council voting on whether or not to ratify was no different than the union executive having to take back the offer to their own membership for a vote and it shouldn’t have been assumed that it would be automatically passed.

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