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Special mediator appointed in PA inside workers strike

Kristin Anderson, Executive Director of Labour Relations and Mediation to come in to help resolve inside workers strike in Prince Albert that is now a week old.
Prince Albert city hall
Prince Albert City Hall is in the midst of a labour disruption.

PRINCE ALBERT - The Canadian Union of Public Employees has confirmed that a special mediator has been appointed to try to resolve the Prince Albert city inside workers strike.

CUPE has confirmed that last Friday, Sept. 15, they received a letter from the Ministry of Labour Relations and Workplace Satety stating that Kristin Anderson, Executive Director of Labour Relations and Mediation would be brought in to bring the sides closer together.

The previous week, CUPE 882 had sent a letter to Minister Don McMorris to request a special mediator to help resolve the dispute between CUPE 882 and the City of Prince Albert.

“CUPE 882 is pleased that the Minister has stepped in and offered third party assistance,” said Mira Lewis, National Representative, in a statement. “We are hopeful that with Ms. Anderson’s support we can have a productive bargaining meeting with the employer and resolve this dispute in a timely matter.”

The strike has been going on since last Monday, Sept. 11. The city said in a news release there was a full withdrawal of services impacting positions in recreation facilities and City Hall. On Sept. 13 the city issued a news release on the status of talks.

“We have always been willing to go back to the table provided the discussions remained within the 11.5 per cent mandate that has been set and as long as the mandate is directed toward salaries and wages, not premium pay for select workers and more vacation for permanent employees. These items do not assist with cost of living, recruitment or retention which are our priorities,” said Kiley Bear, Director of Corporate Services, in a statement.

“As it stands, their latest proposal continues to prioritize vacation and premium pay. We considered it carefully but we are further apart then they are willing to admit.”

A meeting between the two sides with Anderson is set for this Wednesday, Sept. 20.

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