Wood Buffalo Housing, CUPE Meeting This Weekend Attempting to End Lockout

The Wood Buffalo Housing lockout could be coming to an end rather soon.

The organization is planning to meet with CUPE 1505 for four days starting on Friday to try and find an agreement they can both agree on.

The employees have been locked out since May 10 as WBH wants to replace around 25 of the staff with contractors.

CUPE 1505 President Judy Collier tells Mix News there’s a lot of optimism surrounding this meeting.

“I feel confident that if the employer comes to the table willing to negotiate we will come out of there with a deal that we can both deal with.”

Over the past five months, CUPE has been fighting to keep the jobs of all the employees. Wood Buffalo Housing states this will help them get in a better situation that will help them erase their deficit.

Collier says it’s starting to look like a perfect, happy ending won’t happen.

“(Wood Buffalo Housing) is perhaps changing the service level in their residence and with that into consideration we can look at other ideas on how many CUPE positions they need and how many of our members will continue to work there.”

The two sides have met periodically over the summer with many of the meetings ending in a ‘stalemate.’

“Maybe they don’t need as many permanent, full-time employees but potentially they could use CUPE seasonal or CUPE part-time employees – they wouldn’t consider things like that, they only wanted contractors,” added Collier.

In an email sent to Mix News, WBH says they continue to have interest in getting back to the table to get a deal done.

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