Lockout a possibility, Kimberley Mayor says

A statement from Mayor Don McCormick on the upcoming vote.

Kimberley Mayor Don McCormick

A statement from Mayor Don McCormick on the upcoming vote.

The City of Kimberley has issued a ‘Last Offer’ to our employees. After 10 days of negotiations, the Union declared an impasse; the City response was to apply for mediation. Mediation ended when the union dismissed the City’s last offer. Because the City feels that the offer is decent for both sides, it is presenting the offer directly to our employees through the ‘Last Offer’ process.

The City treats its employees well. City jobs are some of the best paying in Kimberley, averaging $59,691 per year for full-time unionized employees. Workers also receive a gold-plated benefits package worth another 35% of income – rarely seen in today’s job market. The Last Offer will see all employees receiving a wage increase, a benefits increase, and the ‘grandfathering’ of special vacation, meaning that all currently-eligible employees will continue to receive this benefit.

The City’s bargaining stance on the ‘special’ vacation and job evaluation system is critical to the future interest of our residential and business taxpayers. The City can no longer afford to offer special vacation to new employees. This benefit was bargained at a different point in time, and is simply unsustainable going forward. Bargaining benefits for future employees is putting the current employees at risk.

Regardless of the original intent of the job evaluation system, it is not working. It does not consider market comparisons with other municipalities.

“This means departments compete with each other for available increases. The result is above-market wages for one department, while other departments are under-valued; also, non-competitive wages for specific jobs are an issue with hiring and keeping qualified people in jobs that are needed to maintain our positive momentum.

The contract we are working with today hinders the City’s ability to manage its business efficiently. The Union keeps saying that the issues are not about money. The fact is everything is about money. Council has provided a consistent direction to management and staff – become more efficient. We need to capture savings through efficiency that can then be reinvested into our infrastructure without increasing the upward pressure on taxes. There has been progress towards this goal, through management reductions and implementing many ideas from our employees. Council resolve on this is strong.

The Union achieved a strike mandate on June 21st, and Council approved a lockout mandate on June 27th. A lockout is a possibility because the City needs to ensure services are provided to residents. We cannot operate indefinitely under threat of a strike.

A well-managed business means a secure future for all employees – union and non-union. The Last Offer presented to the workers is an improved contract that is worthy of acceptance and we expect it will receive careful consideration by our workforce.

 

Just Posted

An interview with a magician

2018 Magic Variety Show hits Key City Theatre

Mountain City Travel wins award

The Kootenay region can be proud to include Mountain City Travel, located… Continue reading

100 new child care spaces, improvements to 41 facilities

Columbia Basin Trust provides over $1 million for 41 projects, two of which are in Kimberley.

SD 6 did change some bus route policy

Meadowbrook parents have been raising concerns about the safety of the bus… Continue reading

Meadowbrook parents have concerns on school bus route

Meadowbrook parents are raising concern with School District No. 6 about the… Continue reading

WATCH: Kimberley news recap

A quick recap of the top news stories this week in Kimberley.

Christopher Garnier appealing murder conviction in death of off-duty cop

Jury found Garnier guilty in December, rejecting his claim she died accidentally during rough sex

Transportation watchdog must revisit air passenger obesity complaint

Canadian Transportation Agency must take new look at Gabor Lukacs’ complaint against Delta Air Lines

Gas plants verdict coming down today; ex-premier’s top aides to learn fate

Verdict to be delivered on senior staff to former Ontario premier Dalton McGuinty

World O’ Words: No stumpage fees for the speechmakers

As long as man has been using fire, he has been chopping… Continue reading

The Way it Was

Kimberley history; 1959

WestJet appeals lost bid to scrap harassment lawsuit

Airline argues judge was wrong to have dismissed the company’s application to strike the legal action

Can U.S. border guards search your phone? Yes, and here’s how

Secretary of homeland security explains a new policy that let’s border guards check phones

‘Beautiful writer’ Nancy Richler dies of cancer in Vancouver hospital

Montreal-born author spent most of her adult life in B.C. as a fiction writer and novelist

Most Read