Sunday, August 22, 2004

Nelson lockout over

CBC News
NELSON, B.C. - Civic workers in Nelson are going back to work, after both sides ratified a new contract agreement – ending a 10-week lockout.

The workers will get a pay raise of seven per cent over the life of the contract.

CUPE had hoped to fully protect a provision that guaranteed 69 positions. But the new contract allows the city to cut its workforce from 69 to 55 through attrition.

Nelson city manager Norm Carruthers says the city had hoped for even more flexibility to make cuts – but is relieved the dispute is resolved.

"We had hoped to a get longer-term solution to this, so that it didn't come up [again]. But 55 is a fair number.

"We've agreed that we will only reduce our staffing through attrition, and we've also agreed that we're going to make sure our primary decision is to provide the services the community needs."

CUPE 339 spokesperson Bev LaPointe says it's been a difficult time for employees, having to face angry members of the public.

She also notes that the agreement is similar to a last-minute deal offered by the union, before the workers were locked out.

There has been no transit service nor garbage collection for the past 10 weeks. And there had also been concerns about ice for the Nelson junior hockey team.

The workers are expected on the job on Monday.

Saturday, August 21, 2004

I walked the line for CUPE 339



click for larger graphic by Roger Barrie

Friday, August 20, 2004

LOCAL 339 BEV LAPOINTE, PRESIDENT AUGUST 20, 2004

Canadian Union of Public Employees

LOCAL 339 BEV LAPOINTE, PRESIDENT AUGUST 20, 2004

PUBLIC SERVICES WIN


CUPE 339 voted 89% to ratify a Collective Agreement that would see a 7% wage increase over a four year term. The contentious minimum staffing clause will stay in place to protect Nelson’s core services, however, it will be reduced from 69 to 55. This represents a 23% reduction in the workforce through attrition.
CUPE 339 offered to reduce the minimum staffing number to 55 in attempts to avert the Lock Out, and the City refused. "This Lock Out represents the greatest failure of Civic Leadership in Nelson’s history. They held a whole Community hostage by denying services and they forced their workforce on the street, for what they held in the palm of their hand 2 1⁄2 months ago," explained CUPE 339 President, Bev LaPointe.
…………most curious behaviour?


CUPE SUPPORT MAKES IT POSSIBLE

CUPE 339 President, Bev LaPointe considers the deal a victory for Public Services in Nelson and for Communities everywhere. The City of Nelson Leadership has failed in their attempt to break the Union and privatize services.

GIANT THANKS to CUPE BC, CUPE National and all CUPE Locals across the Country. The support has been tremendous and has been instrumental in keeping
CUPE 339 strong throughout the entire 21⁄2 month Lock Out. Together we are strong!
55 … AND STILL ALIVE


In the 55 years that CUPE 339 has served Nelson, they have never had a strike or a Lock Out. This Administration is clearly out of touch with their workforce and the Community. It has a mind of its own and will not listen to anyone, not even the people they serve. Shame.
How will they address the damage that has been done to their Employees and the Community?

OLIVE TREE


The Olive tree is an ancient cultivated plant rich in symbolic meaning. In Greece, it was sacred to Athena and was regarded as a symbol of intellectual force and knowledge (because it supplied oil for oil lamps, it was thus akin to LIGHT), of purification (because of the cleansing power of its oil), of fertility and vitality (it is very resilient and can live to be many hundreds of years old), of victory, as well as of peace and reconciliation (because of the calming effect of its oil). With respect to the olive branch brought back by the DOVE that Noah sent from the ark, the olive tree an its branches are primarily a sign of reconciliation.

Thursday, August 19, 2004

Day 71 Locked Out Update

LOCKED OUT
DAY 71 UPDATE THURSDAY, AUGUST 18, 2004

RATIFICATION VOTE


CUPE 339 Members will vote on a 4 year deal that would see the minimum staffing clause reduced to 55 full time workers. This is a 23% reduction in the workforce with concessions in sick leave payout. CUPE 339 Members will see their holiday accumulations reimbursed for the period of the Lock Out.
The City finally accepted CUPE’s position to protect core services. When asked about her views on the tentative deal, CUPE 339 President Bev LaPointe said, "This Lock Out represents the greatest failure of Civic Leadership in Nelson’s history. They held a whole Community hostage by denying services to Nelson. The put their workforce on the street for what they held in their hand 2 1⁄2 months ago."
Nelson is left to wonder what on earth Mayor Elliott, Council and the City Administration were thinking when they pulled the colossal mistake to throw their workforce on the street. The Lock Out was an ASTRONOMICAL Mistake!

BARBEQUE BLAST

CUPE 339 celebrated with their Sisters and Brothers from CUPE Local 748 and the Kootenay District Council at Lakeside Park last night. The huge crowd of CUPE Members, friends and families gathered on this warm summer evening to exchange stories and have some laughs.
BIG THANKS to CUPE 748 and the Kootenay District Council, they have been instrumental in keeping CUPE 339 spirits high through difficult times.

WE HAVE A WINNER

After pouring over dozens of photos, the ‘Basket Free Zone Committee’ has chosen a winner. The winning picture shows quite clearly the basket and the individual who is watering it. In fact, it qualifies for the high level sighting reward of ten dollars.
Drum roll please………and the winner is….


MR. LESS RIPOFF and his sidekick Boo Boo! Congratulations from CUPE 339.

ONE FINGER SALUTE

Where did the rude Anglo-Saxon one-finger salute come from?
When the outnumbered English faced the French at the Battle of Agincourt, they were armed with a relatively new weapon, the long-bow. The French were so amused that they vowed to cut off the middle finger of each British archer. When the longbows won the day, the gesture that still means, among other things, "in your face."

NOTE FROM THE EDITOR

Today is the last day of the regular daily picket line updates. Keep tuned to
www.lockoutnelson.blogspot.com for ongoing updates as CUPE 339 continues to defend public services in Nelson.
The daily updates have been a pleasure to write, they were intended as a communications tool for members on the picket line and the public they serve. The updates are an intimate view of a CUPE 339’s journey through the Lock Out 2004.


NEVER FORGET!

Nelson lockout ends with victory for public services

Canada NewsWire
NELSON, BC, Aug. 19 /CNW/ - The lockout in Nelson has officially ended as city workers voted this morning to accept a contract that keeps city services public. The city of Nelson locked out its workers two and a half months ago in an attempt to eliminate contract language that protected city services and jobs from being contracted out.

'This victory for public services is a victory for Nelson and a victory for municipal workers and their communities everywhere,' says Bev LaPointe, CUPE 339 President. 'We stood strong and our community stood strong behind us -- we will never forget.'

As part of the agreement, the city of Nelson finally accepted the same proposal CUPE 339 offered them prior to the lockout -- namely, contract language, known as the 'minimum staffing clause' that protects 55 public city services from being contracted out. The workers will also be compensated for lost vacation time during the lockout.

'It's a shame the city had to put its workers on the street and hold a whole community hostage for ten weeks to realize that what we offered them prior to the lockout was fair,' LaPointe says. 'Finally the city heard that Nelson residents want their services to remain public.'

During the lockout, CUPE 339 led an extensive outreach campaign in their community that won them broad public support. Nelson residents joined the picket lines, spoke out at city hall, joined in on rallies and marches, organized a town hall meeting, planted 2,000 Strong Communities Stay Public! lawn signs, and wrote countless letters to the editor in support of the workers.

Even the media joined the search for a community solution to the lockout, with on-air and printed proposals in the Nelson Daily News and on Kootenay Co-op radio that called for the city to be transparent and involve Nelson residents in any changes to city service delivery.

'This lockout of Nelson city workers was a huge mistake. It represents the greatest failure of civic leadership in Nelson's history,' says LaPointe. 'Now we will focus our attention on getting back to work, restoring city services and making sure we have in place the kind of mayor and council necessary to ensure this never happens again.'

CUPE 339 represents the city of Nelson's 74 city workers who provide quality public city services to the community.

For further information: Contact: Bev Lapointe, President, CUPE Local
339, (250) 354-7975; Diane Kalen, CUPE Communications, (778) 229-0258

Day 71 Settlement




Day 71 Cupe Local 339 Voted 75% to accept the Contract.

The minimum staffing clause was kept and the contentious contracting out language as well.

The membership was happy and grateful to the bargaining committee.

Thank You Bev, Kathy, Dom, Bob, Bruce, and Lee- Anne for all your hard work and grueling hours at the table.

And all the members who dug in and helped out when it counted.

"WE GOT A CONTRACT NOT ! WE WANT A CONTRACT"

Mechee





Wednesday, August 18, 2004

Day 70 Locked Out



LOCKED OUT

DAY 70 UPDATE WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 18, 2004

TENTATIVE DEAL REACHED

Late Tuesday evening, after 11 hours of negotiating CUPE 339 and the City of Nelson reached a tentative agreement.CUPE 339 will be presenting the deal to their Membership Thursday August 19, 2004 for ratification. The City will be taking it to Council today or tomorrow.
The details of the settlement will be made public upon ratification.Once ratified, CUPE 339 will return to work by Monday, August 23, 2004.

"In the interest of making Nelson whole again and getting our Members off the street and back to work, we will be recommending acceptance of the deal.Full City services will resume within 48 hours of ratification by both parties.

WHERE HAVE ALL THE FLOWERS GONE?

The multi thousand-dollar bedding plant order, that the taxpayer paid for was seen being delivered to the dump yesterday. The City of Nelson contracted out bedding plant production to save costs, buying them and throwing them in the dump rather than keeping your workforce on the job is bad business.


THE LOCK OUT WAS A TITANIC Mistake!

BARBEQUE BEAT

CUPE 339 is fine dining with our Sisters and Brothers from CUPE Local 748 tonight at Lakeside Park 6:00 p.m. The barbeques will be stoked and so will CUPE 339.All picketers are to leave their posts and enjoy the fun. Let’s Chow. THE BASKET CHASE
Remember the truck full of bedding plants speeding to the dump? Well, did we mention there were … enthusiastic Basket hunters chasing the truck, hoping to get picture’s of the missing hanging baskets.


PEACE

Where does the two-fingered peace sign come from?The gesture of two fingers spread and raised in peace, popularize in the 1960’s, is a physical interpretation of the peace symbol, an inverted or upside-down Y within a circle, which was designed in 1958 by members of the anti-nuclear Direct Action Committee. The inverted Y is a combination of the maritime semaphore signals for N and D, which stood for "nuclear disarmament."





Nelson and CUPE settle after 12 hour bargaining session.


CUPE 339 Posted by Hello

Nelson and CUPE settle after 12 hour bargaining session.

THEY FINALLY HAVE A DEAL. NELSON CITY MANAGER NORM CARRUTHERS SAYS THEY HAVE REACHED A TENTATIVE AGREEMENT WITH CUPE.

(We are pleased with that...it was a long day of bargaining...but we have an agreement. It's been difficult but this is something that has been important to both parites and so we have both put a lot of effort into it.)

NELSON LEAFS PRESIDENT CRAIG PICKERELL HEARD THE GOOD NEWS AT ABOUT 10:30 TUESDAY NIGHT.

(It is very much a relief to us...we are so pleased about it. We know it is a tentative deal but we are very hopeful they will ratify it, and as far as we are concerned...we have started the wheels turning to get our season going.)

THE DEAL NOW GOES BEFORE CITY COUNCIL AND THE UNION MEMBERSHIP FOR RATIFICATION. MINIMUM STAFFING LEVELS WAS THE STUMBLING BLOCK IN THE FOUR YEAR DEAL PROPOSED BY THE CITY.

CUPE 339 Ratification Meeting Thursday 10:00 am
Best Western Inn Baker Street


Tuesday, August 17, 2004

BURGER FEAST AND SUMMER FUN




BURGER FEAST AND SUMMER FUN and Good Times

The last CUPE barbeque was such a hit that our Sisters and Brothers from Local 748 School District No. 8 have decided to host another one.

Our Sisters and Brothers from Local 748 are hosting a barbeque at Lakeside Park at
6:00 p.m. on Wednesday, August 18, 2004. Bring the family, come out and enjoy the summer evening with family and friends. There will be pop for the kids and lots of room to run around, maybe even a dip in the beautiful Kootenay Lake.

Burgers (veggie burgers too), dogs and good company…what a great way to enjoy the
‘dog days’ of summer!


Day 69 Locked Out

LOCKED OUT

DAY 69 UPDATE TUESDAY, AUGUST 17, 2004

TUESDAYS TALKS


CUPE 339 is heading into talks with the City of Nelson today at 9:00 a.m. at the Prestige Lakeside Resort and Convention Centre. Last round of face to face negotiations went 12 hours. The City of Nelson accused CUPE 339 of not wanting to talk. CUPE 339 said we are always willing to talk. So today is the day.




BURGER FEAST AND SUMMER FUN


The last CUPE barbeque was such a hit that our Sisters and Brothers from Local 748 School District No. 8 have decided to host another one.
Our Sisters and Brothers from Local 748 are hosting a barbeque at Lakeside Park at
6:00 p.m. on Wednesday, August 18, 2004. Bring the family, come out and enjoy the summer evening with family and friends. There will be pop for the kids and lots of room to run around, maybe even a dip in the beautiful Kootenay Lake.
Burgers (veggie burgers too), dogs and good company…what a great way to enjoy the
‘dog days’ of summer!

BASKET HUNTING FOR THE WHOLE FAMILY


It is already day 6 of the Basket Hunting Contest. CUPE 339 Headquarters has been inundated with pictures of hanging baskets, it will take some time to go through them all and determine the winner of both the five dollar reward and the high level sighting reward of ten dollars.
CUPE 339 is still receiving pictures from participants, so keep up the good work Nelson.
TIP: Some of the baskets have copper hangers. That’s right copper…so keep a sharp eye out for this unique feature.
The reason we know this, is because someone came by the CUPE 339 Headquarters and reported that they had seen a large basket with "different colored wires" in a yard they thought belonged to……..ooops….gosh, we almost gave it away again.

CUPE 339 plays by the rules, so you can count on us to keep the contest fair and square.


JUSTICE IS BLIND


Why do we say "justice is blind"?
The Egyptians pharaohs, concerned that courtroom theatrics might influence the administration of justice, established the practice of holding trials in darkened chambers with absolutely no light. That way, the judge wouldn’t be moved by anything but the facts.
It’s this principle that inspired Lady Justice, the well-known statue of a woman (Themis, Goddess of Law and Justice) in a blindfold holding the scales of justice that is often found outside contemporary courtrooms.









Monday, August 16, 2004

Day 68 Locked Out

LOCKED OUT
DAY 68 UPDATE MONDAY, AUGUST 16, 2004


ELLIOTT ON PRIVATIZATION

In the Friday, August 13th edition of the Nelson Daily News, Mayor Elliott is quoted as saying "CUPE has raised, and continues to promote, fears that the City’s position on removal of the minimum staffing clause, is a ‘front’ for eventual privatization."
Then he goes on to say this is not true.
Who is promoting fear….the one’s who threw their workforce on the street… or the one’s who were thrown on the street? Read the history books.
Eliminating the minimum staffing clause will pave a 6 lane freeway into Nelson’s Public Services, it is disturbing that Mayor Elliott is not cognizant of this.
If it is not intentional then it is simply ignorant of the fact that Public Services are vulnerable across the Province and indeed across the Country.
As a publicly elected body, Mayor and Council should be committing to investing directly into Public Infrastructure.

There is absolutely no commitment to Public Service from this Mayor and Council. They are attempting to create a situation that could devastate Nelson’s Services, and when CUPE 339 draws it to their attention, they are forced out of their jobs and put on the street.

THE LOCK OUT WAS A WHOPPING MISTAKE!!


THE PRIVATIZATION THAT DIDN’T HAPPEN

CUPE 339 has watched the Tourist Park get privatized, tree pruning and removal privatized, City greenhouses privatized, paving privatized, patching privatized, now maintenance of all of our dirt roads and lane ways will be privatized. These are only a few…so the Mayor should give his head a shake!! Does he really not know what he is talking about? Or is it just that someone else writes his articles?
Fact is, the whole reason this Mayor and Administration want to gut the contract is to privatize and a side benefit to that is…poof…no more Union.
Remind you of anyone you know?

Worse than being Locked Out is the view from Administration and Council that CUPE 339 is somehow gullible enough to believe their rhetoric.

BURGERS, DOGS AND SUMMER FUN
Once again, our Sisters and Brothers from CUPE Local 748 are hosting a barbeque for CUPE 339 at Lakeside Park (Rotary Shelter) at 6:00 p.m. Wednesday, August 18, 2004.
Bring the family and let’s have another summer evening of good food, good company and good conversation.

DOG DAYS OF SUMMER

Why are hot summer days called "the dog days"?
Sirius, the "dog star," is within the constellation Canis Major and is the brightest in the heavens. The ancient Egyptians noted that the dog star’s arrival in July coincided with the annual flooding of the Nile, which was important for a good harvest. The Romans believed that, because of its brightness, the dog star Sirius added to the heat of the summer sun, and so they called July and August … "the dog days."