No progress in talks between City of White Rock and union

CUPE 402-01 president Mike Guraliuk pickets outside White Rock City Hall Monday. - Tracy Holmes
CUPE 402-01 president Mike Guraliuk pickets outside White Rock City Hall Monday.
— image credit: Tracy Holmes

A return to the bargaining table Thursday by the City of White Rock and its unionized workers did not move the two sides any closer to resolution.

CUPE 402-01 president Mike Guraliuk said city representatives came to the table “unprepared and with no proposals to assist in getting to a settlement.”

The union began full-scale strike action on May 12, effectively shutting down all city facilities except city hall.

Key issues at the bargaining table are long-term disability benefits and clear hours of work for employees.

According to Guraliuk, the union on Thursday proposed a benefits plan similar to that of the city’s firefighters – paid by employees and administered by the city.

But he said city negotiators claimed that they didn’t have enough information about the firefighters’ plan to discuss the union’s proposal.

“You’re telling me long-term disability is our prime issue for 10 months and you don’t have a response?” Guraliuk said.

“I’m infuriated.”

City manager Dan Bottrill, however, said Friday that the firefighters self-administer their long-term disability. And while the city is willing to facilitate a CUPE-administered plan, the city has “no interest” in administering it.

He took issue with Guraliuk’s claim the city was unprepared.

An update on the city’s website states negotiators are interested in continuing talks and are “reviewing the latest CUPE 402-01 proposal in advance of the next session.”

However, no further dates have been scheduled.

Guraliuk said as far as the union is concerned, “the gloves are off.”

A rally outside city hall is set for noon on Tuesday. Guraliuk expects at least 100 people to come out in support.

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