The Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) Local 2019, representing 54 inside and outside workers, have applied to the NL Department of Immigration, Skills and Labour requesting the assistance of a conciliation officer in contract negotiations with the Town of Happy-Valley-Goose Bay, NL.
“This has been a frustrating and long round of bargaining. We attempted to start this process by sending our notice to bargain in September 2018. We offered the employer’s negotiating team over 100 dates to meet to bargain in 2019 and 2020, but they kept stalling,” said Merv Linstead, president of CUPE 2019. “It wasn’t until October 2020 that we finally began negotiations.”
“Taking into consideration the difficulties of bargaining due to the pandemic, we also offered to meet with the employer’s bargaining team virtually instead of face-to-face,” says CUPE national representative John Hall.
“Now, after several months of trying to reach a new collective agreement, we have reached an impasse,” says Linstead. The union’s collective agreement expired on December 31, 2018.
CUPE 2019 represents 54 municipal workers who provide public services to approximately 7,500 residents in Happy Valley-Goose Bay and the Lower Lake Melville area. The workers include firefighters, arena workers, roads and parks workers, water and wastewater workers, municipal landfill workers, municipal officers, clerical and technical staff.