RDCK CAO addresses NDCC labour dispute
Editor, The Nelson Daily
The Regional District of Central Kootenay (RDCK) recognizes that the Nelson and District Community Complex (NDCC) is important to Nelson and area children, adults, seniors, teams and visitors to our community.
We also recognize that the current disruption to services during rotating strike action by members of the union is negatively affecting our quality of life.
Regrettably, negotiations between the RDCK and our unionized employees at the NDCC remain at an impasse. The key issues remaining are wages and the term (length) of contract.
The RDCK negotiates with the Creston and District Community Complex union employees, the Castlegar and District Community Complex and Landfill union employees, the RDCK Staff Association as well as all other non-union staff including those at the NDCC.
These groups have all accepted a one per cent increase in wages for 2011. Agreements have also been reached with all but two employee groups for 2012.
In December 2011, the RDCK offered the employees who are currently on strike a retroactive one per cent wage increase for 2011 and the union turned that down.
In the most recent negotiations with the union up to September 21, 2012, the RDCK tabled two offers for our NDCC union employees to consider:
a) a two-year agreement with retroactive increases of one percent for 2011 and 2012 and,
b) a three-year agreement with retroactive increases of one percent for 2011 and 2012 and a one per cent increase for 2013.
Each of these offers has been rejected by the bargaining committee for the NDCC union employees.
It is important to recognize that 2009 and 2010 were very difficult years for the Central Kootenay economy. The regional economy is still soft and the RDCK has committed to controlling expenditures and maintaining a balance in our services across the Central Kootenay.
The majority of RDCK employees have accepted the wage package for 2011 and 2012. Our employees work in recreation, water utilities, landfills, emergency services, building inspection, by-law enforcement, planning and administration across the West Kootenay.
We will continue to deliver important local government services at wages that are fair and reflect our current economic situation.
I am confident that all RDCK employees wish to maintain a high quality of life for our community, our families and ourselves.
Uninterrupted access to important recreation services in our community contributes to that quality of life, as do fair, sustainable wages for union and non-union employees throughout our region.
Jim Gustafson, Chief Administrative Officer
Regional District of Central Kootenay