Penticton municipal workers vote overwhelmingly for strike action

Municipal workers in the City of Penticton on Wednesday voted to take strike action, with 95 percent in favour.

The workers, members of Local 908 Canadian Union of Public Employees, had been bargaining with the city for over seven months, according to news release.

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“Life in the South Okanagan is becoming less and less affordable, and our collective agreement is not reflective of the true cost of living in our region,” said CUPE 908 representative Shelie Best.

“Our frustration is that even after months at the table, we are still facing proposals that put our members’ further behind.”

Best alluded to a recent Statistics Canada’s report, which stated year-over-year inflation in B.C. was 2.7 per cent as of April.

According to Best, Statistics Canada’s report showed that B.C. was tops in inflation, with a rate of 0.7 per cent higher than the national average.

Our members live and work in this community and we want to see it grow and thrive,” said Best.

“We need to ensure Penticton is able to retain and attract qualified staff, and that our city is a leader in providing the kind of good jobs that support families and helps the local economy.”

Following the strike vote, the union announced that it was applying to the B.C. Labour Relations to have a mediator appointed.

“We remain committed to working towards a negotiated resolution that fairly addresses the affordability challenges that see our workers struggling to support their families,” said Best.

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