Tentative deal reached between City of Edmonton, CSU 52 members

Click to play video: 'Tentative deal reached between some CSU 52 members and City of Edmonton'
Tentative deal reached between some CSU 52 members and City of Edmonton
WATCH ABOVE: On the verge of thousands of workers walking off the job, a tentative deal has been reached between the City of Edmonton and some Civic Service 52 (CSU 52) members, but not those who work at the library. As Kendra Slugoski explains, a strike isn't yet completely averted — the deal still needs to pass a ratification vote. – Mar 14, 2024

A tentative deal has been reached between the City of Edmonton and Civic Service Union 52 (CSU 52).

“A deal has been struck between CSU 52 and the City of Edmonton. More details will come later today or tomorrow, once both parties have had a chance to review the fine print,” union spokesperson Jenny Adams said in a statement.

However, Adams said the tentative deal does not include Edmonton Public Library employees, it just applies to the City of Edmonton employees at this time.

Library employees are in a separate bargaining unit. A spokesperson with EPL said Thursday it is still in discussions with CSU 52.

Mayor Amarjeet Sohi, city council and city manager Andre Corbould issued a joint statement Thursday afternoon which said the group is pleased a tentative agreement has been reached and there will be no labour disruption.

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“The tentative agreement must be ratified by union members, and CSU 52 establishes its ratification process. Out of respect for that process, the City of Edmonton will not release details about the agreement until the ratification is complete,” the statement said.

“While we cannot predict the outcome of the ratification, we are pleased that Edmontonians will continue to receive high-quality programs and services while this process unfolds.”

The tentative deal comes after the city and union said Thursday morning that job action was being postponed for 24 hours while the two sides continued bargaining discussions.

More than 5,000 members CSU 52 were originally expected to walk off the job at 11 a.m. Thursday. But on Thursday morning, the strike action was delayed for 24 hours, to 11 a.m. Friday.

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In a news release just before noon, the EPL said the temporary closure of libraries has been postponed to 11 a.m. on Friday.

Jason Foster, an associate professor of human resources and labour relations at Athabasca University, warned a tentative agreement doesn’t always mean strike action will be totally avoided.

“In this kind of dynamic that could be unpredictable. We have seen unions around Canada in the last year or so where the members have rejected a tentative agreement because they didn’t feel like it was good enough. So just because they come up with a deal doesn’t mean it’s over,” he said.

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“A tentative agreement tends to put things like strike action on hold until that (ratification) vote happens, which sometimes can take a few days.”

Click to play video: 'Strike by Edmonton city workers postponed 24 hours to Friday morning'
Strike by Edmonton city workers postponed 24 hours to Friday morning

The looming strike was expected to have a major impact on several city services, from rec centres and libraries to city attractions and overall customer service (including 311 service).

Those who were preparing to strike included emergency 911 operators as well as those who conduct criminal record checks and firearms renewals. Administrative staff for the Edmonton Police Service and the municipal government were also preparing for job action.

Affected city staff included help-line operators, recreation centre staff, accounting employees and clerks.

Fire and rescue, transit, construction, snow-clearing and waste collection were set to continue.

The union has not had a contract since 2020 and was looking for a three-year deal that would cover up to 2023 with a five per cent raise.

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A detailed look at what the City of Edmonton was offering CSU 52 members as of Wednesday, March 13 versus what the union was asking for. Global News

The last strike by the Civic Service Union was in 1976.

— with files from The Canadian Press

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