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Thousands of City of Calgary workers vote in favour of strike action

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Thousands of City of Calgary workers voted in favour of strike action after negotiations between the union and the city resulted in three rejected offers.

According to CUPE 38 president D’Arcy Lanovaz, 4,200 out of 5,600 members voted between May 15 and 16. The vote was 89 per cent in favour of strike action.

The union represents the city’s “inside workers,” which includes development workers, bylaw staff, engineering techs, water treatment staff, administrative workers, utility and construction technicians, social workers and urban planners, among others.

The union also represents around 900 Calgary Police Service civilian staff.

The CUPE 38 president said members are concerned with wages not keeping up with inflation and the lack of flexibility to work from home.

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Lanovaz said members want to be able to work a minimum of two days at home but are requesting additional work-from-home days during the week to be approved at the supervisory level, instead of at the senior management level.

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Lanovaz told Global News on Tuesday that CUPE 38 has been in negotiations with the city since last November and went into mediation in March. The negotiations have resulted in three rejected offers.

Lanovaz added CUPE 38 representatives met with the city through a mediator again on Tuesday with no agreement or resolution.

The next step is to resume and continue discussions without having to take work-to-rule action, which means union members can refuse overtime and any extra duties. There is no timeline for work-to-rule action and the situation is very fluid, Lanovaz said.

If no agreement is reached during work-to-rule action, Lanovaz said rotating strikes would be the next step.

Global News reached out to the City of Calgary with a request for comment.

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