Skip to main content Skip to footer

Statement from the Mayor

For Immediate Release

March 21, 2024


Statement from the Office of the Mayor – Labour Dispute


This labour dispute has gone on too long, and so, the Township is seeking new mediation. I want to share my perspective.

During this difficult time, our management team have worked tirelessly to maintain basic services to the community. They have done an admirable job. For the most part picketing has been peaceful, except when outside forces gather and agitate. However, the stresses of the workplace are tangible and debilitating. Everyone would be served best by a settlement, as soon as possible. This should be the goal of both parties. Until very recently, Council met, shared information, debated and conducted the business of Council.

On Tuesday March 12, Serge Bouchard, President of the striking local, spoke at a citizen’s meeting about the ongoing CUPE strike. He explained that there was really only one outstanding issue. He told the participants:

“The general wage increase; we’re pretty well in agreement on that one. So, my money is already kind of figured out”. So, he made it clear. The strike was not about money for Serge, or any of the other members.

He went on to say, “we’re standing here for people who haven’t even been hired yet,” “we’re not going to sell them out”. He was referring to the Employer proposal to extend the wage grid for future employees to 3½ years, instead of 1 year. The proposal does not affect any existing employee. Upon their return, all the strikers will be at the top of the grid in their classifications -   or, if they’re still new, as soon as their probation is complete - only future employees will be affected. Nearly all municipalities have wage grids. The Township management grid is 5 years.

Serge and the other strikers are set to receive a 14% increase. If new employees are hired, they will move along the same grid. Striking to support people who don’t work at the Township doesn’t make any sense. The deal, which Council approved unanimously, remains on the table to sign.

One other unfortunate issue must be addressed, one that we believe has prolonged the strike unnecessarily. Through Facebook announcements and media interviews, the public is now aware that three of the Councillors, Campsall, Dyment and Gadoury, have declared their plan not to return to Council and perform their duties. Their goal is clear; to sabotage the present Council in an effort to convince the Ministry to declare a by-election. In the time this kind of legislation would take, the Councillors remain derelict in their duties.

Management is now aware that at least one Councillor has been funneling confidential information about management’s bargaining positions to the union executive, and it’s been going on for a while. This fundamental breach of Council confidentiality misled the Union, giving them hope that the Councillors in their pocket could change Council’s bargaining mandate, giving in to the Union. The Union have continued the strike, waiting for their Councillors to deliver, causing huge delays and discomfort in the community. Recently, Councillor Campsall has walked the picket line. Councillor Dyment was seen lunching at the Cozy Diner with Serge Bouchard - comrades in arms.

This week, it became apparent that the Councillors have failed, and so they choose to quit rather than return to Council to be held accountable for their misguided conduct. Their new plan, to overthrow Council, is strangely anti-democratic -  and may prolong the strike. Their plan is completely misguided. There’s no benefit to either the union or the public, and it will likely make things worse.

This failed strike is a debacle and sits squarely on the shoulders of the absent Councillors. Outside of the council chamber, they have made this their strike. Shame on them. The entire community has suffered.

The management bargaining team still has its mandate. There is a very reasonable offer on the table. The Union should disengage from Dyment, Campsall and Gadoury. They’ve led them astray. No more false promises. It is time to do the deal.



Mayor Doug Bender


Contact Us

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

Phone: (705) 273-2313
Fax: (705) 273-2140
Send an Email

Subscribe to Our News

Stay up to date on the Township's activities, events, programs and operations by subscribing to our News.

This website uses cookies to enhance usability and provide you with a more personal experience. By using this website, you agree to our use of cookies as explained in our Privacy Policy.