City: CUPE keeping employees in the dark on final offer

(Newswatch Group/Bill Kingston, File)

CORNWALL – While saying it doesn’t like to bargain in public, the City of Cornwall has fired a shot back at the Canadian Union of Public Employee over allegations that it refuses to meet.

In fact, the corporation says it gave the union a “fair, best and final offer” to the four locals but that CUPE “refused” to share it with its membership for a vote.

Details of what’s in that offer haven’t been made public.

Talks broke down Tuesday night and the union released a statement, suggesting the city walked away from bargaining.

But the city says that further discussions would “not be productive” since the membership isn’t privy to the offer on the table.

“We don’t tell them (the union membership) too much about that (the city’s offer) because, we can’t, because of bargaining,” CUPE national representative Keith Sandford said in a March 26 interview with Cornwall Newswatch. “They do know about a few roundabout scenarios as to what’s going on.”

The CUPE locals, representing inside and outside workers, clerks at the Cornwall Public Library and paramedics with Cornwall-SDG Paramedic Services have been without a contract for at least two years.

The outside workers, paramedics (on a limited basis) and Cornwall Public Library clerks can strike at 12:01 a.m. tomorrow (Thursday). Inside workers won’t be in a strike position until 12:01 a.m. on Wednesday next week (May 23).