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Still no movement in Cochrane strike


Municipal workers remain off the job in Cochrane over what the union says was an unreasonable offer during contract negotiations.

CUPE Local 71 is looking for a wage increase of somewhere between 3 and 4 per cent while the union's president says the town is holding firm at 2 per cent.

"I can't tell you very much movement on the town side because we saw a press release that they're ready to negotiate but they won't move, to me that means they're not ready to negotiate," said president Lyne Nolet.

“They're not answering our requests so we're still waiting on the employer."

Nolet said it has been frustrating because they see the money from taxpayers 'leaking' out to contractors and adds the town is deteriorating as a result.

"We do have tremendous support from the community, we're asking residents to contact their local councillor and mayor,” she said.

“In order to the economy work, we need parents working, we need childcare, we need the roads to be fixed, the water sewer to be safe and administration to send out things."

Nolet told CTV News that spirits are high despite the setbacks and adds there isn't a single person on the team that wants to be on the picket line.

"We want to work," she said.

"There is flexibility in that 3 to 4 per cent of course but we need to see some more funds in order to be able to function," said Nolet.

On Tuesday night, picketers manned the lines that spanned the circumference of town hall itself.

In a statement to CTV News, Mayor Politis said council has had a difficult role to play.

"For whatever it's worth, one of the hardest things to do for a council in a smaller community is not to be in a position to provide the folks you know, respect and care for all of what they are seeking. To uphold the notion that the Town isn't in a position to solve all of everyone's financial challenges associated with this uncertain period. The reality is the Town and Council’s role in this needs to be focussed on being fair to its employees, and in that after all the benchmarking and gathering of actual data that demonstrates wage increases that have significantly outpaced inflation over the last decade, we feel that we are clearly doing that," he wrote in part.

He urged residents to be patient with the situation as the disruption carries on.

"Please remember that the folks striking are doing so to try and find what they feel is the stability they need, like all of us are. They are our friends, family, and neighbours, and will remain so when we get through this difficult path together," he said.

Workers walked off the job on July 31, 2023. Top Stories

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