The president of the CUPE local representing 60 non-management Town of Cochrane employees sees a 96-percent strike mandate as a message to bargainers for both the municipality and the union.
Lyne Nolet says her members are adamant that when contract talks resume this month, they want negotiators to break the impasse that not even a conciliator could solve.
The workers across all town services have been without a contract since the end of 2021. Nolet says one of several issues is a substantial raise to at least catch up to inflation.
“Everyone knows that inflation has increased dramatically in the past few years,” the president notes. “So we have zero raises or money that came in since January 2021.”
Nolet adds that gender equity and a return to scheduling that addresses work-life balance are also on the table.
“Of course, we have the mines that are open. They offer big wages. But the town was offering better hours of work. If you start to move those hours of work, it might be even harder to retain and get employees to work for the town.”