CUPE demonstrates outside city hall

Members of five city union groups protest outside Cornwall city hall Monday, Sept. 25, 2017. The union took part in the demonstration to push the city toward negotiating a new contract. (Newswatch Group/Bill Kingston)

CORNWALL — “We want a fair deal.”

That message on a placard was directed at city officials Monday night as around 100 members of the Canadian Union of Public Employees demonstrated outside city hall.

The crowd included employees from five union groups – the inside and outside workers, Glen-Stor-Dun Lodge, the Cornwall Public Library and Cornwall-SDG Paramedic Services.

Most, if not all of the collective agreements for the union locals have lapsed, some as late as September 2016.

While the demonstration was mostly on the sidewalk outside the Pitt Street city building, some other members filtered into the building to make their presence known during the opening of the council meeting.

During the singing of the national anthem to start the council meeting, verses of “solidarity forever” could be heard over top of the anthem. Some members broke into applause at its conclusion.

The union is upset about a wage freeze imposed on city employees in a bid to control costs within the corporation.

A city employee holds up a sign during a demonstration outside Cornwall city hall Monday, Sept. 25, 2017 prior to a council meeting. The members are trying to send a message to the corporation to negotiate a fair deal for five union groups. (Newswatch Group/Bill Kingston)