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Prince Albert city workers prepare to take job action


Members of the union representing Prince Albert city workers are taking job action, starting with a work-to-rule on Thursday.

The Canadian Union for Public Employees (CUPE) 882 gave the City of Prince Albert a notice, saying it will no longer do training services.

“Our bargaining efforts this time around have hit a major roadblock,” Cara Stelmaschuk, vice-president of the CUPE 882.

The city said it offered an 11 per cent increase over four years, but the union rejected the offer and wants a 12 per cent increase over four years. Stelmaschuk said it’s not just about the one per cent, and said the union wants to discuss other improvements to the contract. She said after the union rejected the final offer, the city did not want to meet.

“It’s a two-way conversation, and this time we have not had that particular opportunity or openness to negotiate,” she said in an interview on Wednesday.

Kevin Yates, human resource manager with the city, said the offer would move employees from the 85th to the 95th percentile.

“We have the best offer of any of the cities in Saskatchewan on the table. It’s more than a fair offer. The city needs to balance the interest of the taxpayers in Prince Albert with the needs of the employees,” Yates said in an interview.

He said the city has a contingency plan in place if workers decide to walk off the job.

“Withdrawing training services will have very little impact on the city," he said. "How long before they escalate that action will depend on what services may be impacted."

Stelmaschuk said the union is feeling the strain of inflation. She said while it is prepared for a full withdrawal of services, it’s a last resort.

“Nobody wants to go on strike. We really just want a chance to go back to the table and talk,” Stelmaschuk said.

The union represents inside city workers including administration, information technology, bylaw enforcement, building inspections, recreation, and arts. It hasn’t had a contract since December 2021. Top Stories

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