CUPE, RMOW canÕt resolve 

Talks have broken off between the municipality and its unionized employees after only hours of mediation.

By Alison Taylor

On Wednesday, after an all-day meeting in Whistler, mediator Debbie Cameron of the Labour Relations Board determined there was no common ground between the two sides which would allow them to continue discussions at this time.

It was supposed to be a two-day mediation but the talks ended after the first day — a disappointing result for both sides.

ÒThey came back with the same old, same old,Ó said Pete Davidson, president of the Canadian Union of Public Employees Local 2010. ÒThey failed to address any of our concerns for affordability.Ó

CUPE Local 2010 represents between 20-25 wastewater treatment workers, utilities workers and bylaw officers.

They have been without a collective agreement for more than two years and have been on limited strike action since mid-February.

CUPE workers are looking for a $4,000 cost of living allowance to offset the high cost of living in a resort town, among other things.

Municipal Information Officer Diana Waltmann said their side is also disappointed with WednesdayÕs outcome. They were hoping for a resolution to the issue, which is stressful for both union and non-union municipal employees.

The municipality turned down CUPEÕs request to move to arbitration, a process by which an independent body would listen to both sides and settle the dispute once and for all.

ÒWe donÕt feel that is the way to go,Ó said Waltmann.

In the meantime she said the municipality is willing to sit back at the bargaining table for more mediation.

Davidson said he was unsure at this point in time what CUPEÕs next steps will be.

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