Town of Watson Lake negotiations update

Dear friends & neighbours:

You know us. We are the people who run the Zamboni, who maintain the parks, keep your water safe and who make sure our town runs smoothly. We are your neighbours, your friends, your relatives.

This has been a difficult number of months for us.

– November 2014 – We agreed to a one year roll over of our Collective Agreement, to allow the Employer time to undertake a full and comprehensive review of job descriptions, (with an eye to compensating employees for the actual work they perform on a day to day basis). The Employer promised that the findings of this very important and necessary review would be presented upon our return to the bargaining table.

– September 2015 – We chose representatives to speak for us at the bargaining table for our contract which expired on December 31, 2015.

– December 2015 – Our current Collective Agreement expired.

– May 2016 – January 2017 – We have had several meetings with the Town’s bargaining team to try and reach a fair contract. Much to our disappointment, the review that was promised in 2014 has never been completed and presented. Despite several meetings including one with the assistance of a federally appointed Mediator and more recently a federally appointed Concilator, we have not been able to achieve a fair agreement for the town workers. Recent actions by the Employer have left us frustrated. As much as we want to make sure we can all work and enjoy our town, we also have to make sure we don’t cave in on the issues that matter to us.

– February 2017 – All of us who work for the Town of Watson Lake have made the difficult decision to begin job action in the near future and stand up and fight for what we believe in.

We care deeply about Watson Lake. We have, after all, chosen this as our home, where we raise our families and build our memories. Everything we do, we do with the well-being of our community and our families in mind. We worry about our safety, about the security of town resources & facilities and the ability to ensure we continue to build the stability and resilience of Watson Lake.

We know in a small community there will be questions and divided loyalties. We ask for your support in this difficult time by sending a clear message to Mayor and Council that you want the Employer to return to the table for meangingful negotiations. If you have questions, please ask us.

Thank you,

YEU/PSAC Local Y029
Town of Watson Lake Municipal Workers