EDMONTON – The union representing 30 employees of Westlock County is responding to comments made by Reeve Bud Massey in his recent report to council.
CUPE Representative Lou Arab said the Reeve’s report was “misleading” and “didn’t tell the full picture regarding the County’s attempts to push long serving staff out the door.”
Arab said the report was disappointing because it came at the same time county administrators are showing signs of trying to improve their relationship with employees.
“Massey never mentioned the fact the County signed a consent order at the Labour Relations Board – conceding and apologizing for the way they handled the severance issue,” said Arab. “His report points blame wherever it can – but ignores the fact the county has accepted responsibility, in writing.”
Arab said that the part of Massey’s report indicating that the County was a good place to work, because 90% of union members voted for a recent contract – was also misleading.
“Employees voted for a contract they could live with, and they expect their employer to live up to its obligations in that contract,” said Arab. “The recent disputes have been because the County isn’t living up to the contract they themselves voted unanimously in favour of.”
“It’s a shame that the council is still acting in a confrontational manner, because there are indications the CAO is trying to improve employee relations,” said Arab. “We had a good meeting with Peter Kelly yesterday, with a commitment to continue meeting every month and to provide every employee with a copy of the consent order. But the Reeve and Councillors seem to be pushing in a different direction.”
“The council needs to live up to its written commitments, both with our contract, and with the consent order from the Labour Board.”