City Statement Regarding the Current Labour Disruption
The City of Mount Pearl respects the right of its unionized workforce to strike. They have the right to picket and the right to respectfully protest the City’s position within collective bargaining.
However, in 2022, no one has the right to bully, intimidate, humiliate, or disrespect the non-bargaining workforce who are crossing the picket line each day to go to work.
Everyone has the right to a healthy workplace which safeguards physical, emotional, and mental wellness. The City of Mount Pearl takes these matters very seriously, and nothing, including a strike, gives anyone permission to engage in behaviour that constitutes harassment, bullying, or intimidation.
There have been repeated instances of disrespectful behaviour that continue to go beyond legal picketing to bullying and intimidation. City managers, contracted workers, and staff with community groups have been followed, filmed, and physically confined while being ridiculed, taunted, and berated.
The City is calling on CUPE Local 2099 to immediately stop these behaviours which have no place in today’s society.
Throughout the bargaining process, the City has consistently indicated we are prepared to be flexible in our negotiating position. The Union remains unwilling to negotiate anything outside of wages. We have an obligation to residents and businesses to ensure that our ongoing operations are sustainable and within budget. We have been working to achieve a collective agreement that will have a limited impact on our taxpayers.
The City of Mount Pearl offers employees an attractive and competitive total compensation package. In addition to competitive wages, full-time employees in the bargaining unit are entitled to a defined benefit pension plan with a 10.25% annual contribution from the employer, severance entitlement up to 120 days, competitive health and dental benefits, 15 to 30 days of annual vacation leave, clothing allowances, and education support and training. Employees also receive additional professional and wellness benefits outside of the collective agreement. None of these items are on the table for negotiation.
Beyond this, the City currently offers full-time unionized employees 21 sick-days, 14 paid holidays, and 7 special leave days for events such as marriage, birth of a child, moving, and urgent home matters. Employees have no cap on the accumulation of sick leave.
To help manage both long-term financial sustainability and operations of the City, the City has proposed a reduction in sick-leave days from 21 to 18 for existing employees and proposed 12 sick-days for new hires, competitive with other municipalities. Changes to the health and dental plan for either current or new employees has never been tabled.
The City of Mount Pearl has a responsibility and an obligation to our residents, businesses, and employees to respond to both the mistruths and misbehaviour that members of CUPE Local 2099 have exhibited since the onset of this labour disruption.
The City will continue to correct mistruths presented to the public, to whom the City is accountable.