City of Williams Lake
For Immediate Release
February 13, 2013
Tel: 250-392-2311Fax: 250-392-4408450 Mart StreetWilliams Lake, BCV2G 1N3
City Issued 72 Hour Strike Notice by Union
Negotiations between the City of Williams Lake and the International Union of Operating Engineers (IUOE)Local 882-B, which represents the majority of front line City workers, have broken down and the City hasbeen issued 72 hour strike notice by the Union. The Union will be in a position to strike as early as 2:16 pmon Saturday, February 16, 2013.The City of Williams Lake will do everything it can to minimize the effects of this job action on residents andis hopeful that the Union will return to the bargaining table, and that this job action can be resolved as soon aspossible.Throughout this negotiation process the City has been attempting to address several key issues we believe arein the best interest of our taxpayers. The City wants to ensure the sustainability of the City’s operations.One of the City’s key issues under the current Collective Agreement is call out pay. Employees who arecalled in for any reason receive eight (8) hours of pay regardless of the length of time they work. Many of these call outs require an hour, or less, of work. The current cost for overtime is estimated at over $250,000per year and the large majority of this cost is from this call-out pay. The City has made an offer to the Unionto address its concerns about call out pay that they feel is more than fair, and in-line with industry standards.The Union currently has 28 positions that are guaranteed no lay-offs in a Memorandum of Understanding(MOU). Although this MOU severely ties the hands of the City to adjust the workforce, especially in shoulderseasons where there is reduced work, and increases overall operating costs, the City has indicated that it iswilling to sign this MOU but that it would require movement by the Union on the call out pay issue.A second issue of the City is the requirement to pay for benefits for seasonal employees during periods of layoff. The City feels that this practice is not sustainable.In its proposals to the City, the Union has asked for four (4) additional paid days off which includes two newpersonal days and two new additional sick days in addition to the 8 sick days they already receive. The Cityhas offered to adjust the current sick days that employees receive to allow them to take this time off to carefor their children when they are sick.The Union has asked increases to its health and benefit program that would cost the City over $110,000.00annually, including a Pay Direct Prescription Card. The City has indicated clearly that it would be amenable tooffering the Prescription Card to employees. The City feels that the current Health and Welfare package isvery fair to employees.