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An Update from the Negotiating Committee on the Labour Disruption for Residents of the Township of Black River-Matheson

As the labour disruption in the Township of Black River-Matheson continues, we wanted to provide an update to residents. Despite the ongoing dispute, the Township’s staff continue to responsibly manage the municipality and deliver services on behalf of the community.

Most services continue to be delivered with minimal disruptions. Having said that, there are some delays and we ask for your patience as we work diligently to keep these at a minimum.

In December, the Township put forward a fair and generous offer to CUPE Local 1490 and the 14 workers they represent. The Township’s offer includes only enhancements for employees:

  • 14% wage increase over four years,
  • More paid vacation for those with service over five years,
  • A fair wage schedule which will ensure more experienced staff earn more as new staff are hired, without affecting any current employees.

We are, however, disappointed by the unwelcome tactics CUPE is bringing into our community from Toronto and beyond. They are disruptive, unproductive to reaching an agreement, impose unreasonable demands on taxpayers and in some cases, put the safety of our community at risk. 

We’ve welcomed many union members back to work who support the fair offer, but some CUPE members continue to put their own agenda first, forgetting what is in the best interest of their members and community.

For months, the Township of Black River-Matheson has actively pursued every reasonable option to resolve the labour dispute with CUPE Local 1490. Despite the Township’s best attempts to avoid a labour interruption, the unwillingness of CUPE Local 1490 to engage in good-faith negotiations led to a lockout on October 15th, 2023. That led to negotiations in the fall, which resulted in the Township putting a final offer forward for workers.  CUPE refused it and chose to go on strike. CUPE Local 1490 is within its rights to strike. However, the intimidation and harassment from some in the union toward Township staff is unacceptable and improper.

For the Township’s part, our priority is to ensure the safety of our employees and to continue to ensure people have access to the services they depend on – safe roads, waste disposal, an open arena – while we leave in good faith our final offer open to workers.

The Township is proud of the offer it has put forward: it was carefully crafted in response to what union negotiators told us, while being fiscally responsible – offering the very best terms possible for employees. Township staff remain committed to moving ahead to keep our community a great place to live and work.

Contact Us

367 Fourth Ave.
P.O. Box 601
Matheson, ON P0K 1N0

Phone: (705) 273-2313
Fax: (705) 273-2140
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