UPDATED: Tentative agreement reached in City of Kimberley labour dispute
A tentative agreement has been reached between the City of Kimberley and United Steelworkers 1-405 following a weekend of bargaining.
The agreement comes after an exhausting session which began Saturday evening and ended on Monday afternoon and saw both sides soften their positions.
“This has been a very difficult set of negotiations for both our members and the committee,” said Jeff Bromley, lead negotiator for the USW Local 1-405.
“We believe this is a compromise for both parties and one we can bring to our members for ratification with the support of the committee.”
“I am thrilled that the City was able to reach a new collective agreement with our 91 unionized employees and avoid a lockout,” stated Chief Administrative Officer Scott Sommerville.
“Together we were able to achieve council’s goal of long-term financial sustainability, and balance that with an agreement that is fair to our employees.”
The lockout, which was to have taken effect on Sunday afternoon, had been extended until Tuesday morning while negotiations recommenced.
The lockout has been further extended until next week, giving both sides time to ratify the contract.
Details of the memorandum of the agreement will first be made available the the union membership later this week.
Details will be released to the public following the ratification meeting next week.
The ratification meeting will take place at Centennial Hall in Kimberley, Tuesday, September 6, 2016 beginning at 5:45 p.m.
Lockout postponed at 11th hour
Cooler heads have avoided a lockout of City of Kimberley employees by the employer in the Bavarian City.
In a media release Sunday, the United Steelworkers 1-405 said two parties are scheduled to return to the table Monday morning in Kimberley and that the employer has extended the lockout notice to expiry Tuesday morning, at 6 a.m., August 30, 2016.
“Following the issuing of 72-hour lockout notice Thursday afternoon, meetings between the principles of the two parties occurred late Saturday night,” the release said.
“Emerging from these meetings was some movement on the outstanding issues between the two parties by the employer on Sunday morning.”
USW 1-405 said Sunday afternoon following the reviewing of the latest movement by the employer, the USW Bargaining Committee decided to return to the bargaining table if the employer agreed to postpone the Lockout, which was scheduled to commence at the expiry of the 72-hour lockout notice at 4 p.m. Sunday afternoon.
“All members scheduled to work on Monday, August 29, 2016 are to report to work as scheduled,” the USW 1-405 release said.
“City facilities will remain open at this time at the two parties attempt to reach an agreement or until Tuesday morning. The Bargaining Committee will report to a location yet to be determined Monday morning.”
City of Kimberley serves 72-hour lockout notice
The United Steelworkers Local 1-405 said the City of Kimberley is ready to lockout its workers after serving 72-hour lockout notice.
The 72-lockout notice expires Sunday evening, August 28, 2016.
The move comes following a resounding rejection of the City of Kimberley’s final offer vote Thursday afternoon in Kimberley said the United Steelworkers Local 1-405 in a media release.
“The final offer was rejected by a 93 percent margin, 65-5 with 70 members casting their vote,” the release said.
“A clear message was sent to the city that the offer was substandard, confusing, contained mistakes and was not negotiated or endorsed by the union.”
United Steelworkers Local 1-405 said shortly after the results of the vote was tabulated, the union received a letter from the city serving the union and our members 72-hour lockout notice.
“The union communicated to the city that our bargaining committee is ready to return to the bargaining table anytime to negotiate a fair collective agreement,” the release said.
“Unfortunately, the city has chosen to initiate a work stoppage starting Sunday afternoon or Monday, depending on when the Labour Relations Board receives the notice.”
The union will advise of the expiry of 72-hour deadline.
United Steelworkers Local 1-405 said the Bargaining Committee will be meeting to go over the next steps in preparation for the city-initiated job action.