Town of Placentia, NL – Placentia’s mayor needs to focus his energy on finalizing a new contract with employees – not on rhetoric, says the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE), the union representing the town’s fifteen municipal workers.
“We’re disappointed with the mayor’s comments made today, especially the day before we have a meeting set with the employer and the conciliation officer to get back to negotiations,” says CUPE 1761 President Gerry Quilty. “What purpose does it serve? Let’s get back to the table and get this contract done.”
“The mayor’s actions today have left us with no choice but to address his inaccuracies when we would rather be at the bargaining table,” says Mark Cunningham, CUPE national representative. “Inflating numbers to mislead town residents is just bad practice.”
“Through the conciliation officer, we are asking the town council to provide the calculations they used in the mayor’s statement,” says Cunningham. “We’ve closely examined the town budgets and expenses, past collective agreements, and the province’s inflation predictions. The numbers simply don’t add up and are far different from what we’ve been able to verify.”
“Using scare tactics and words like a ‘million dollars’ when speaking to residents is not only irresponsible, it’s simply untrue,” says Cunningham. “We want residents to know that our members are not asking for a raise, only an increase that keeps up with the cost of living.”
“The direct wage increases our members are asking for will cost approximately $15,000 per year, for all 15 workers combined. We think that’s reasonable and fair,” says Cunningham. “Yes, there are also benefits and pensions to consider, but the employer’s numbers are highly overstated.”
“We think the mayor is intentionally misleading the public. Residents, workers and our community deserve better,” says Quilty.