Downtown Snow Removal is City Responsibility and CUPE Work

Charlottetown – “The City of Charlottetown streets (including the parking spaces within them) and their maintenance are fully under the control of the City of Charlottetown in accordance with the Charlottetown Area Municipalities Act (CAMA) and no individual, Councillor or Committee, short of City Council itself, can alter that reality”, states Bill McKinnon, National Representative for the Canadian Union of Public Employee (CUPE).

CUPE Local 501 represents Charlottetown City Workers in the Public Works, Recreation and Fire Department. CUPE is responding to comments in the media yesterday between Public Works Chairman, Councillor Terry Bernard and the downtown business association regarding the snow removal in parking spaces in front of downtown Charlottetown businesses.

“While we realize that there were some valid concerns raised by business people last year as a result of the exceptional snow fall and snow clearing challenges, that does not alter the rights and obligations of the City Fathers as they relate to public services and the negotiated contracts it has with City employees.

The work being referenced by Councillor Bernard in the media is and always has been CUPE Local 501 work, and further, our contract with the City of Charlottetown protects that work from being done by anyone other than CUPE Local 501 members. Frankly, Councillor Bernard would know this so we wonder why he would even contemplate making such comments publicly that suggest the City could do otherwise.

CUPE Local 501 has sent a letter to Mayor Lee and the rest of City Council this morning asking that he/they put an end to this nonsense. However, in addition, we also offered to meet to provide the City Fathers with some constructive insight into what our members perceive to have been some of the problems last year and how to solve
and/or improve the situation in future.

We certainly hope the Mayor and Council will view our comments and our offer favourably to prevent any unnecessary conflicts”, concluded McKinnon.