CUPE ratifies agreements, city workers could be back Tuesday

In this May 2018, file photo, hundreds of CUPE workers rally outside Cornwall city hall on Pitt Street. The union says its members have ratified the four contracts and if they are accepted by the employers, workers could be back on the job tomorrow. (Newswatch Group/Bill Kingston)

CORNWALL – Workers with the four CUPE locals “have each ratified their tentative agreements,” the union said Monday.

It follows a weekend of voting on each of the four collective agreements.

That means, if the contracts are accepted by the City of Cornwall and the library board, workers could be back to work tomorrow, CUPE National spokesman Andrea Addario said.

The so-called inside and outside workers, as well as paramedics with Cornwall-SDG Paramedic Services and library clerks with the Cornwall Public Library have been on the picket line for three weeks.

City council meets in closed session at 5 p.m. to address matters pertaining to collective bargaining, presumably to vote on the agreements.

Dawn Kiddell, library CEO and secretary-treasurer of the Cornwall Public Library Board, told Cornwall Newswatch the board agreed in principle to the agreement when it was presented during a noon-hour meeting today (Monday) with Cornwall Human Resources Director Geoff Clarke.

Kiddell said a return to work agreement still needs to be worked out so the reduced service hours likely won’t be reversed by tomorrow (Tuesday).

Employees with the four CUPE locals have been without a contract since 2016 and, in the case of the library, 2015.