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With the CUPE strike continuing in Cochrane, arena ice becomes more of an issue

Picket lines are still up in Cochrane. Non-management employees of the town have voted 74 percent against accepting the employer’s latest contract offer.

The only issue is money.  The town is offering a two-percent raise this year and three in the next, leaving inflation to dictate whether it’s also three percent in the final two years of the contract.

CUPE Local 71 president Lyne Nolet says regardless, the municipality should be able to budget for the three-percent guarantee.

“From what the membership is saying, they’re not gambling people,” she remarks. “They don’t want to play Russian roulette. They want to know financially where they’re going. They want to budget, which are great concerns to them.”

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In a statement, Mayor Peter Politis says the vote makes it clear that it’s not a matter of keeping up with inflation… it’s about seeking more money.


The mayor says a plan is still in place for contractors to install ice at the Tim Horton Events Centre beginning next week.

Union president Nolet acknowledges the importance of hockey and skating season, but says her membership and the community wonder why ice takes priority over the municipally-operated daycare centre.

“And why is the ice so important compared to a parent having great childcare workers take care of their children and being able to go to work and relax and know that their kids are well taken care of?”

The strike is in its seventh week, having started July 31st.

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