City suspension of mandatory unpaid leave the right move – CUPE

WINNIPEG – The City of Winnipeg has suspended their plan to force city workers to take a mandatory 3.5 days of unpaid leave scheduled for December, 2014.

“Citizens deserve to have their services delivered when and where they need them,” said Mike Davidson, President of CUPE Local 500.  “The proposed forced leave was simply bad public policy, and bad management.”

In March 2014, CUPE Local 500 filed a policy grievance against the mandatory 3.5 days of unpaid leave, calling on the city to ensure that services remain fully staffed and open to the public. The City denied the grievance, forcing the Local to consider a costly and lengthy arbitration process.

Since the 3.5 day furlough was first introduced by Councillor Russ Wyatt, who is also the Chair of the Finance Committee, CUPE has maintained that the forced unpaid leave would adversely affect the quality and delivery of important services and programs for the citizens of Winnipeg.

“We are pleased that we will no longer have to pursue legal avenues to challenge the furlough,” said Davidson.  “Citizens shouldn’t have to fight against the City for the services they deserve.”

CUPE Local 500 represents about 5,000 employees working at the City of Winnipeg who provide front-line services in public works, community services, water and wastewater, recreation and other service areas.