Eighty-three per cent of CUPE Local 9 members who provide police support services have voted to give their bargaining committee a strike mandate.
“We don’t have any immediate plans to initiate any job action,” said Ryan Nelson, CUPE 9 president. “Our real hope is to get a contract without having to do that.”
The vote was held on Aug. 27.
The mandate was given as a result of a bargaining dispute with the Moose Jaw Board of Police Commissioners.
The most recent contract expired on December 31, 2011 and according to a CUPE 9 press release, no bargaining dates have been scheduled in the nearly two years since.
“What it really boils down to is having our members be able to get a contract that gives them wages that are equitable to people in other police departments in the province that do the same kind of work,” Nelson said.
CUPE 9 represents 25 workers at the Moose Jaw Board of Police Commissioners. These police support workers answer 911 transferred calls, help diffuse situations on the phone, type reports and court documents, provide administration, process tickets, process and maintain police evidence, do criminal records checks and fingerprinting.
“These people do an important job and they should be compensated along the same lines as the people who do the same work in other jurisdictions,” Nelson said. “In our view, there’s certainly a gap between what they’re currently being paid and where they should be and we’re hoping we can get back to the bargaining table and work that out with the employer.”
Mayor Deb Higgins, a member of the Moose Jaw Board of Police Commissioners, could not be reached for comment.