Metro Vancouver union workers in legal strike position

Unionized Metro Vancouver workers are now in a legal strike position, but there will be no active picket lines on Monday. Simon Little / Global News

Hundreds of Metro Vancouver workers are now in a legal strike position following months of stalled contract negotiations.

The Greater Vancouver Regional District Empoyees’ Union announced the legal strike action Monday afternoon but says there will be no active picket line for the rest of the day.

“We understand the importance of our members’ jobs and the impact on the community, and we are committed to taking measured actions that prioritize both our members’ interests and the broader community,” the union wrote in a statement.

“Going forward, GVRDEU will initiate various job actions. We believe this approach will allow us to exert the necessary pressure on Metro Vancouver.”

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The union, which issued the 72-hour strike notice on Friday, represents around 670 workers in services such as watershed management, wastewater treatment and air quality monitoring.

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The two sides are at odds over wages, work hours and health-care benefits.

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Metro Vancouver called the job action “unfortunate” but says there will not be any disruptions to essential services.

“With affordability in mind, we are seeking to create more flexible working hours at the request of staff, resulting in more union jobs and an enhanced compensation package with improved salary and benefits,” Metro Vancouver spokesperson Don Bradley wrote in an email to Global News.

“We believe our wage offer of an 11.5 per cent increase over three years and a one-time lump sum of $2,350, plus other improvements to allowances and benefits, is fair and reasonable and aligned with other negotiated settlements in the region.”

Metro Vancouver coordinates services for 21 municipalities with a population of approximately 2.8 million people.


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