Update: City of Williams Lake issued 72-hour strike notice by union

City of Williams Lake issued 72-hour strike notice by union

  • Feb. 14, 2013 12:00 p.m.

Update: City manager of human resources Ashley Williston said the Labour Relations Board mediator has booked out, which means the earliest the union can go on strike is at 3:30 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 16.

Williston also said the Williams Lake Airport will remain open if there is job action and all scheduled carrier flights will remain in effect.


Negotiations between the City of Williams Lake and the International Union of Operating Engineers (IUOE) Local 882-B, which represents the majority of front line city workers, have broken down and the city was issued 72 hour strike notice by the union Wednesday.

In response the city issued the following press release Wednesday evening:

The City of Williams Lake will do everything it can to minimize the effects of this job action on residents and is hopeful that the union will return to the bargaining table, and that this job action can be resolved as soon as possible.

Throughout this negotiation process the city has been attempting to address several key issues we believe are in the best interest of our taxpayers. The City wants to ensure the sustainability of the city’s operations.

One of the city’s key issues under the current collective agreement is call out pay. Employees who are called in for any reason receive eight (8) hours of pay regardless of the length of time they work.

Many of these call outs require an hour, or less, of work. The current cost for overtime is estimated at over $250,000 per year and the large majority of this cost is from this call-out pay. The city has made an offer to the union to address its concerns about call out pay that they feel is more than fair, and in-line with industry standards.

The union currently has 28 positions that are guaranteed no lay-offs in a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU). Although this MOU severely ties the hands of the city to adjust the workforce, especially in shoulder seasons where there is reduced work, and increases overall operating costs, the city has indicated that it is willing to sign this MOU but that it would require movement by the union on the call out pay issue.

A second issue of the city is the requirement to pay for benefits for seasonal employees during periods of lay off. The city feels that this practice is not sustainable.

In its proposals to the city, the union has asked for four (4) additional paid days off which includes two new personal days and two new additional sick days in addition to the eight sick days they already receive. The city has offered to adjust the current sick days that employees receive to allow them to take this time off to care for their children when they are sick.

The union has asked increases to its health and benefit program that would cost the city over $110,000.00 annually, including a Pay Direct Prescription Card. The city has indicated clearly that it would be amenable to offering the Prescription Card to employees. The city feels that the current Health and Welfare package is very fair to employees.

In these negotiations, the city has agreed to increase meal and boot allowances, increase the rates for working foremen and lead hand designated employees as well as employees in positions requiring a journeyman trade certification.

The city felt that significant progress was being made in negotiations on Tuesday and hopes that the union returns to the table. The city has indicated to the union that it is very interested in hearing counter proposals and that it wants to get back to the table as soon as possible. In an effort to resolve this situation as quickly as possible the city has requested mediation through the Labor Relations Board and are awaiting the response from the Union.

In order to maintain as many vital services as possible for the community during this job action, the city applied to the LRB for essential service levels which have been designated. The Labour Relations Board designates those services that are considered essential to the health and safety of the public.

The union and the city have also agreed that the Cariboo Memorial Recreation Complex’s ice plant will be maintained, but the Complex itself, including the arenas, will be closed to the public for the duration of the job action. All recreation programs and services will be closed and/or cancelled including arenas (ice bookings, rentals, tournaments, leagues, etc.), swimming pool (public swimming, swimming lessons, etc.), Gibraltar Room (rentals, meetings, weddings, etc.), Fitness Centre, Recreation Programs (both on-site and off-site), and the Rec and Roll After School care.

City Hall will be open regular hours during any job action but there will be some reduced services in some areas. To minimize the effects of the job action to the public, exempt and management city staff will be utilized as much as possible to undertake some priority tasks normally performed by union staff.

For after hour emergencies, residents should call the emergency hot line at 250-392-5255.

During the current job action the city will continue to provide updates to the public through the media and city website as much as possible.



Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

As a former reporter and editor at the Tribune, Diana French carries on sharing her ideas through her weekly column. (Photo submitted)
FRENCH CONNECTION: Skating rink welcomed

This lake one will not last long but is still worth it

Jim Hilton pens a column on forestry each week for the Quesnel Observer.
FOREST INK: New batteries close to industrial level applications

The good news is the hope that this cost should come down each year

Researchers in B.C. say earlier than usual return of bats or dead bats can indicate trouble, such as signs of white-nose syndrome. (Cathy Koot photo)
Public help is essential for monitoring for bat disease

Anyone finding a dead bat is asked to report it to the BC Community Bat Program

Sandi Griffiths is the region’s new district manager of transportation for the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure. (Monica Lamb-Yorski photo - Williams Lake Tribune)
New MOTI district manager takes the wheel in Williams Lake

Sandi Griffiths replaces Todd Hubner who retired recently

A health worker holds a vial of AstraZeneca vaccine to be administered to members of the police at a COVID-19 vaccination center in Mainz, Germany, Thursday, Feb. 25, 2021. The federal state of Rhineland-Palatinate, start with the vaccination of police officers in internal police vaccination centers. (Andreas Arnold/dpa via AP)
B.C. officials to unveil new details of COVID vaccination plan Monday

Seniors and health-care workers who haven’t gotten their shot are next on the list

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

An investigation is underway after a man was shot and killed by Tofino RCMP in Opitsaht. (Black Press Media file photo)
Man shot and killed by RCMP near Tofino, police watchdog investigating

Investigation underway by Independent Investigations Office of British Columbia.

B.C. Supreme Court in Vancouver on Tuesday December 11, 2018. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C.’s compromise on in-person worship at three churches called ‘absolutely unacceptable’

Would allow outdoor services of 25 or less by Langley, Abbotsford and Chilliwack churches

Baldy Mountain Resort was shut down on Saturday after a fatal workplace accident. (Baldy Mountain picture)
Jasmine and Gwen Donaldson are part of the CAT team working to reduce stigma for marginalized groups in Campbell River. Photo by Marc Kitteringham, Campbell River Mirror
Jasmine’s story: Stigma can be the hardest hurdle for those overcoming addiction

Recovering B.C. addict says welcome, connection and community key for rebuilding after drug habit

A Vancouver restaurant owner was found guilty of violating B.C.’s Human Rights Code by discriminating against customers on the basis of their race. (Pixabay)
Vancouver restaurant owner ordered to pay $4,000 to customers after racist remark

Referring to patrons as ‘you Arabs’ constitutes discrimination under B.C.’s Human Rights Code, ruling deems

Nanaimo children’s author and illustrator Lindsay Ford’s latest book is ‘Science Girl.’ (Photo courtesy Lindsay Ford)
B.C. children’s writer encourages girls to pursue the sciences in new book

Lindsay Ford is holding a virtual launch for latest book, ‘Science Girl’

Most Read