CUPE 508 Strike: What’s It About?

Why Replacement Workers?

CUPE 508 Strike: What’s It About?

What do CUPE 508 outside workers currently earn?

What is the City offering?

  • A 5% increase in the first year, then an upward adjustment equal to the Consumer Price Index for the remaining 4 years of the contract (CPI is a measure of the rate of price change for goods and services bought by New Brunswick consumers. It’s widely used as a benchmark to calculate wage adjustments for employees).
  • This offer would cost Fredericton taxpayers $2,9M and would satisfy CUPE 508’s demand to be among the best-paid municipal outside workers in New Brunswick.
  • While City management, Council and CUPE 3864 receive the annual CPI increase, a 5% offer has never been extended to them.

What is CUPE 508 demanding?

  • A 7% increase beginning immediately and increases equal to CPI but with a guaranteed minimum of 1.75% over the next 4 years.
  • This demand would cost Fredericton taxpayers $3,7M, which is $850,000 more than the City’s already-generous offer.

Why replacement workers? 

With CUPE 508 outside workers on strike demanding a 7% wage increase in the first year of a new contract, the City knows that for public safety reasons, residents cannot be left vulnerable to service disruptions. It’s winter and streets need to be cleared.

So, after five months of negotiations, when CUPE 508 gave notice to strike on February 13, 2020 during a snow storm heading into a long weekend, the City (Council) needed to act.  In response, the City locked the union out and brought in replacement workers to help keep streets clear and provide basic services until CUPE 508 returns to the table.

It is unfortunate this had to happen, but the streets must remain clear.