Union members hopeful strike can be averted, but are preparing for picket lines

Sherry Martell
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TRURO - With just hours to go before a Canadian Union of Public Employees strike deadline hits, union members remain hopeful bargaining teams will reach a negotiated settlement.
But just in case things don't fall into place as hoped, Sherrylynn Jaguary-Woodworth, secretary for local 3890 and picket co-ordinator, said union members are preparing for picket lines.
"I'm hoping there will be enough time for a resolution, our last desire is to go on strike," she said.
This will be the first time she has been put in a position to walk off a job and she is feeling nervous.
"I think I'm anxious and concerned for the members that are being forced to the line," said the co-ordinator. "Our members are prepared but we don't know what to expect, hopefully we'll get a resolution but we are ready."
Her local has set up headquarters at the Salmon River fire hall and began assembling picket placards on Friday night themed Fairness, Nothing more. Nothing less.
Ron Davis, president of CUPE local 3890, said he had hoped the seven outstanding issues could have been resolved by now.
"I'm very disappointed and disillusioned," he said. "We thought it would go a lot better than that. What we are fighting for is fairness. No more. No less."
He said picket sites and times have been selected and signs will be ready for the 6 a.m. Monday deadline.
He said some of the outstanding issues are privatization of work, vacation time, health, pension and long-term benefits, term of agreement, as well as wage parity with their counter parts in the Halifax Regional Municipality.
The school board bargaining unit will resume talks with its employer on Sunday in a last-minute effort to avert strike action.

Organizations: Canadian Union of Public Employees

Geographic location: Salmon River

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