CUPE holds vote Monday on City’s final offer

Cornwall strikers wave placards a few steps away from the front doors of Cornwall city hall on Wednesday, May 23, 2018. The union will allow its members to vote on the city officer on Monday. (Newswatch Group/Bill Kingston)

Update 5:35 p.m.: This story has been updated to add a statement from CAO Maureen Adams.

CORNWALL – The Canadian Union of Public Employees has changed its mind and will put the City of Cornwall’s final offer to its four locals to a membership vote.

The vote will take place Monday (June 4).

CUPE says it sent a letter of Cornwall Mayor Leslie O’Shaughnessy and city representatives last night, letting them know of its plans.

This follows the City’s move Tuesday (May 29) to have a supervised vote on the offer, overseen by the Ministry of Labour. That vote was to take place within two weeks.

The city says it will watch the Monday vote and figure out what it will do next.

“The City is pleased that its employees will have the opportunity to see and vote on our final offer. This is what we have wanted since before the strike began,” CAO Maureen Adams said in a statement to Cornwall Newswatch. “We are examining our options with respect to the Final Offer Vote and will consider our position based on the results of the vote scheduled for Monday.”

Before today’s developments, the City had stated the union had “refused” to allow its membership to vote on the city offer.

Now, just over two weeks into the strike, the union says it couldn’t wait that long.

“We can’t in good conscience allow members to wait for more than two weeks to vote on the employer’s last offer,” spokesman Alison Denis said in a Friday morning news release. “Nor do we want Cornwall residents to be deprived of vital services for longer than is necessary. We think it’s responsible to accelerate this timeline, and so we will hold the vote ourselves.”

Results of the CUPE vote are expected “late Monday evening.”