City final offer to CUPE going to supervised membership vote

(Newswatch Group/Bill Kingston, File)

CORNWALL – A supervised vote, overseen by the Ministry of Labour, will happen “within the next week or two,” the City of Cornwall said Tuesday.

That follows a meeting on Thursday (May 24) and Friday (May 25) between CUPE, representing workers with five locals, and the city’s bargaining team.

It’s the next significant step in the work stoppage, which is approaching two weeks on Thursday.

On Monday night, city council rejected a counter offer from CUPE during a closed session of its meeting.

CUPE said it made a “substantive offer” and that its “major move” would have ended the strike.

The union maintains that the city’s offer on May 15 – two days before the strike – has “most of the same provisions,” which led to workers to vote 93 per cent to strike.

But it concedes the City is well within its right to ask for a provincially-supervised vote.

“It is important that our employees are well informed and fully aware of the City’s fair, best and final offer,” Mayor Leslie O’Shaughnessy said in a news release today (Tuesday).

“Materials will be prepared to communicate directly with our employees to provide an explanation as to why council feels it has presented a fair offer for ratification,” the city stated.

Members of CUPE Locals 234, 3251, 3251-01 and 5734 have been without a contract since 2016 and, in the case of the Cornwall Public Library, 2015.