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Getting a new collective agreement is important. Workers need to be sure they can take care of themselves and their families. The City needs to be able to put budgets together. Edmontonians need to know whether they can rely on public services.

CUPE Local 30 Bargaining Update

In December, more than 1,700 City staff in CUPE Local 30’s jurisdiction voted on a settlement offer from the City. On December 12, CUPE advised the City the result of the vote was to accept the City’s settlement offer. On December 13, City Council also voted to accept the offer, and thereby created a ratified collective agreement. Administration immediately began the process of implementing the new collective agreement. 

On December 18, CUPE advised that it cannot let the first vote stand and it wishes to conduct another vote early in the new year. This is unfortunate and unprecedented.

In a bulletin on its website and social media, CUPE made allegations that suggest the City was at fault for the problems they identified with the first ratification vote and its concerns with the outcome. The two allegations are factually inaccurate. 

  • Specifically, in relation to the suggestion that the City failed to provide an accurate list of employees eligible to vote, at no time was such a list requested by CUPE. Had it been requested, it would have been immediately provided. The City did provide a list of employees from whom union dues were collected, as is required in the collective agreement. 
  • Further, in relation to the suggestion that the City’s communication to employees in CUPE positions about polling station locations and times contained inaccurate information about polling times, a draft of that communication was provided to CUPE for review in order to ensure that its contents were accurate before it was sent to CUPE employees. A CUPE representative confirmed, in writing, that the communication was “ok” before it was sent to the members. Further, the City was not made aware of any concerns from CUPE regarding the polling times until after the polls had closed.

The City extended its full cooperation both by offering polling stations at worksites and providing time off to vote, so the implication that the City did not support employee participation is completely unfounded. 

The City will continue to proceed as it would with any other ratified agreement. See CUPE Local 30 Details of Settlement 2019 - 2020 Collective Agreement for more information.

History of the Settlement Offer for CUPE Local 30 Members

The Union asked members to vote on the settlement offer the City made to CUPE Local 30 members in December 2019.

The vote was held on December 5, 6 and 11, 2019.

The Offer

The settlement offer includes 2 main elements: wages and shifts

  • The wage offer keeps wages the same for 2019 and 2020 (a 0% increase over 2 years).
  • The shift offer introduces changes in how new shifts are implemented for those programs where it makes sense. In exchange the offer also includes:
    • More paid leave. Permanent employees are offered 3 paid personal leave days per year. Active provisional employees are offered 1 paid day per year.
    • More shift pay. An increase to the midnight shift differential from $1.60 to $1.75.  All other wages and premiums remain the same.
    • Better discounts. Right now, employees qualify for fitness centre/swimming pool passes for themselves at a 50% discount. The offer extends the discount to up to seven family members. For this program, “family” means all people related by birth or legal status who live in the same household.
    • Better bereavement leave. The offer provides more options on how employees can take paid time off when they are dealing with the death of a family member
    • All staff in CUPE jurisdiction would receive these benefits, whether or not they are on 12-hour shifts.
What the Vote Means

The majority of the people who vote determine what happens next.  Only the opinions of those who actually vote are counted.

If the majority of voters “accept” the offer, there is a new collective agreement. Regular work continues.

If the majority of voters “reject” the offer, next steps are unclear. A lot of work has gone into trying to reach an agreement, and a failed vote means that the mediation process was not successful. While discussions towards a new agreement can continue, the law allows for labour action (a strike or lockout) when mediation fails and a 14 day ‘cooling off’ or waiting period has expired. 

History of the Offer

The previous collective agreement expired in December 2018

Since then, the City has: 

  • Held 12 meetings with CUPE to negotiate a new agreement.
  • Worked with a neutral, third-party mediator and CUPE to try to reach a settlement.

The wage offer:

  • Reflects current economic conditions, and keeps wages at their current levels.
  • Acknowledges significant reductions in provincial government funding.
  • Is consistent with agreements ratified with 2 other unions. Those agreements both have 0% wage increases in the first 2 years.

The shift offer:

  • Keeps total hours of work as 80 hours every 2 weeks. 
  • Keeps most shift schedules the same.
  • Supports running an effective operation, which is in everyone’s best interests (employees, the City, and Edmontonians). Eight hour shifts make business sense in many of the City’s operations, and that will not change.  Shifts longer than 8 hours make business sense in operations such as the Snow and Ice program. 
  • When shifts are longer, there are more days off.
  • Changes how shifts are implemented. 
    • Right now, any new shift schedule must be put to a vote by the affected employees. Two-thirds of the employees must say “yes” before the new schedule can start.  
    • The offer removes the employee vote, and allows the City to implement changes:
      • where longer shifts will make the work more efficient, 
      • After it consults with the union, and 
      • After providing at least 60 days’ notice to affected employees. 
  • This change allows the City to be more efficient in providing programs and services. In the Snow and Ice program, for example, it is more effective to have two daily shift changes rather than three so that equipment can be on the road longer. This could mean roads are cleared sooner. 

Status of Negotiations With Other Unions

  • International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers: A new collective agreement has been reached.
  • Amalgamated Transit Union (DATS): A new collective agreement has been reached.
  • Amalgamated Transit Union (Local 569): Negotiations continue.
  • Civic Service Union 52: Negotiations continue.

For More Information

Labour Relations Team


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