CUPE 363 members vote to strike in Revelstoke

The vote by CUPE 363 members working for the City of Revelstoke comes on the heels of city council’s vote to increase wages for mayor and council. A union statement didn't mention any immediate plans for a strike.

Revelstoke City Hall. Photo: Aaron Orlando/Revelstoke Mountaineer Magazine

Revelstoke city workers belonging to CUPE 363 have voted to strike.

The announcement was made in the early evening on January 22, 2020, a day after city council voted to raise wages for Revelstoke mayor and council, a decision that resulted in the resignation of councillor Steven Cross.

Surprise resignation: Revelstoke City Councillor Steven Cross quits, citing ethics concerns over council self-pay raise

In a statement on the CUPE BC website, CUPE 363 said the local’s last collective agreement expired more than a year ago, on December 31, 2018. According to the union’s statement, no significant progress was being made in bargaining a fair collective agreement. “Members who voted gave an overwhelming majority in favour of taking job action,” the statement reads.

“Considering the significant raises the mayor and council gave themselves and city management, the modest increases our members are asking for are clearly fair and reasonable,” said Jesse Adam, CUPE 363 president. “I hope this strike vote sends a clear message that CUPE 363 members are determined to get a fair deal, and that they strongly support their bargaining committee.”

Adam said workers in Revelstoke are facing an affordability crisis that is threatening their ability to work and live in their community. He said city management has a responsibility to address the issue fairly with modest wage increases. He said CUPE 363 members have given management ample opportunity to come to the bargaining table prepared to reach an agreement

CUPE 363 represents approximately 100 members who provide a wide variety of municipal services in Revelstoke including snow removal and road maintenance; parks and recreation; arena and aquatics centre; sewer and water; garbage collection; as well as administrative services like bylaws; building inspection; finance, engineering and planning departments; and services at the RCMP detachment.

The announcement came late in the day and did not have many accompanying details, such as any planned strike action, timelines or specific details of the negotiations.

Members of city administration were not immediately available for comment on Wednesday evening.