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White Rock councillor says he's ‘obligated’ to cross picket line

Coun. Grant Meyer chats with Ken Jones outside city hall May 12. - File
Coun. Grant Meyer chats with Ken Jones outside city hall May 12.
— image credit: File

A White Rock councillor says he will not let a city strike stop him  – again – from doing his civic duties.

Grant Meyer said Monday he would cross the CUPE 402-01 picket line outside city hall to attend the evening’s council meeting – where he plans to give notice of a motion suggesting a possible rebate to residents, should the city realize savings from the job action.

Meyer was the sole councillor to miss the May 12 meeting because he would not cross the picket line. He said at the time that, as a unionized BC Ferries worker, he had to respect CUPE’s picket.

Monday, he told Peace Arch News he has a job to do.

“I’d rather not cross picket lines, but it kind of backs me into a corner,” Meyer said, describing it as an “awkward situation.”

“That’s my obligation.”

City employees launched a full-scale strike on May 12. While city bylaws are being enforced, services such as garbage, green waste and recycling pickup are on hold.

Meyer said citizens are particularly upset with the lack of garbage pickup, and said the city should look at whether a rebate on residents’ property taxes is warranted, to compensate for them paying for services they aren’t receiving.

“I’d be willing to have staff look at that,” Meyer said. “That’s something I’d definitely be in favour with” if the city realized savings during the strike.

“People are trying to make do. The big one is garbage,” he said.

Mayor Wayne Baldwin could not be reached by PAN press deadline Monday, however, Meyer said the mayor has indicated to him that he would support the rebate motion.

Mediated talks are scheduled for Wednesday and Friday.

A key issue is long-term disability benefits, but city officials have said they do not believe the language belongs in a collective agreement.

 

 

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