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London’s 770 outside civic workers reject four-year contract offer



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London’s outside workers, the ones who maintain roads and parks, have rejected a contract agreement their union struck with the city, sending both sides back to the bargaining table.

Only 300 of the 770 members of Local 107 of the Canadian Union of Public Employees, voted but they rejected the agreement that pledged wage increases in every year of the four-year deal, Eric Bell, a CUPE spokesperson, said Friday. 

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“What we are seeing with all of our members in Ontario is they are dealing with cost of living and inflationary pressures. Wages are top of mind for workers these days,” he said.

Bell declined comment on the amount of the wage increase the workers were offered. The vote was held Tuesday. 

No new dates have yet been scheduled to resume contract negotiations.

“Talks with the local and the city were very amicable – they had a deal they thought they were able to take to members, but members sent a message they want to continue improvements to the collective agreement,” Bell said. 

“The bargaining committee will meet in the coming days to discuss next steps.”

Outside workers do street and road maintenance work and maintain city parks. 

Local 107 officials could not be reached for comment.

Last fall, the city and the union for its more than 800 inside workers, CUPE Local 101, ratified a new three-year contract with wage increases of 3.2 per cent in the first year and three per cent in each of the following years. The deal was retroactive to Jan. 1, 2023.

Indoor workers account for the largest portion of the city’s unionized workforce and include employees, full- and part-time, working in finance, information services  services, planning, social services, building code inspections and bylaw enforcement.

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