Wednesday, June 01, 2016

Union Agreement Still Not 'Signed Off'

Current CUPE collective agreement
still not signed off - expires Dec. 31/16

Readers of this blog know that the cost of wages and benefits coming from tax dollars is something I pay close attention to and the CUPE agreement with the city has always been of interest.

The union and the city are currently operating under an agreement that was supposedly 'ratified' sometime in 2015. The period of that contract is from Jan. 1 2014 - Dec. 31 2016 and of this writing has still not been 'signed off' by the parties concerned.

The city HR director responding to my query informs me that they hope to have the agreement signed off and posted on the city website 'sometime this month', that was said on May 30/16.

What Gives???

How can we, the taxpayer know what kind of agreements our city leaders have come to with the union if the contract is still not posted when we are two and a half years into a three year agreement?

Is there some language in the agreement they don't want questioned? Are they hoping we will simply not pay any attention to what could be described as very lucrative terms of employment that the private sector can never hope to match?

What role does city management play in all this? Remember that exempt city staff (non-union) currently get a wage increase which is equal to the increase 'negotiated' by the city. I can't be the only one who sees some potential conflict of interest in this whole procedure.

Hoping wage increases will go unnoticed??

It is worth noting that the recently complete Core Services Review confirms much of what I have been saying about the cost of wages at city hall. How anyone thinks they are sustainable has always been a mystery.

CUPE wages have increased in the past 10 years by 52% and during the past 5 years have increased by 22%. While at the same time IAFF (Firefighters) have increased in the past 10 years by 73% and in the past 5 years by 53%.

Afforable? Sustainable? We will find out what people think when/if the Core Services Review becomes a working study and not just another dust-collector at city hall.



  1. It was just recently that Council linked management increases to CUPE. An obvious conflict of interest as you say and a perverse incentive. Once again this was done in secret with no public disclosure or process.

  2. The Core Review notes many ways in which Nanaimo has restrictions on operating flexibility resulting in increased costs. In some cases for practices which no other municipality follows. You can expect all this to be ignored by Council in implementation as Council serves employees rather than voters. Good for you for keeping watch

  3. Just Joe Taxpayer1 June 2016 at 15:46

    I get a little weary of the common union refrain about not wanting to engage in a race to the bottom when comparing their wages with the 'real' world. The unions for the most part have won the race to the top and are there at the expense of taxpayers who can only dream of equity with the people they are paying.

  4. If you're gobbling-up a big salary of taxpayer loot like there's no tomorrow, and then live OUTSIDE the very city where your cheque comes from (not giving at least some back in property tax), union workers and senior staff do not give a SH-T if it's sustainable or long as they get their snout into the money trough and keep munching.

  5. The world is broken........
    Cliff Marcil

  6. I note in the CAOs blog on the City website that she is very careful to include the Union (one- since Fire is in the 45% of tax expenditures she took off the table) in any implementation strategy. Perhaps she isn't aware of what happens in Prince George with their Core Review recommendations?

  7. And the CORE Services Review says the Business Improvement Area has been getting a matching grant from city taxpayers (almost an extra $250,000/yr) under bogus terms and should not have been getting it! More wasted money. Can all the money wrongly given now be clawed back from these already wealthy business people?

  8. I would like to see this raised and addressed openly at a council meeting. Let all the councillors and the new CAO put their cards on the table. It would be highly entertaining for sure.

  9. The province must centralize collective bargaining in BC. Weak Municipal Councils have demonstrated they are not capable of negotiating effectively with powerful, well funded, national unions like CUPE.


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