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City offers wage increases to workers as it applies for ability to lock them out if they strike

Edmonton City Hall

The union representing the city's library workers said Friday members of its bargaining unit have overwhelmingly voted to strike.

The City of Edmonton has offered a 7.25-per-cent wage increase over five years to thousands of its workers in negotiations with their union, according to a media release on Friday from the city.

News of the offer comes a day after the city applied to the Alberta Labour Relations Board for approval of a lockout poll as employees who are members of the Civil Service Union 52 vote on whether they'll strike.

"We value our employees and the contributions they make to the city and all Edmontonians," Michelle Plouffe, the city's chief people officer, said on Friday in a media release. "We believe we have a strong offer and that every CSU 52 member should have their say on the offer."

CSU 52 tells CTV News Edmonton that the Edmonton Public Library has also applied to the labour board for a lockout poll. The union bargaining unit for library employees is separate from the city workers.

The city's and library's applications are the first step toward a potential lockout.

The bargaining unit for library workers, which held its strike vote Tuesday to Thursday, has voted 94 per cent in favour of strike action, CSU 52 said in a Friday media release, adding that 93 per cent of members voted.

"The overwhelming support for a strike mandate demonstrates our members' unwavering desire to secure fair and equitable treatment in the workplace," Lanny Chudyk, president of CSU 52, said in the release.

The bargaining unit for city workers is holding its strike vote Friday through Monday.

CSU 52 represents 6,000 technical, professional, administrative and clerical workers between the two entities.

The union applied for a strike vote following a mandatory 14-day cooling-off period that ended Jan. 30.

That came after "a lack of movement" in contract negotiations between the city and the bargaining units, CSU52 said in a media release Jan. 22.

CSU 52 held several emergency meetings with its members in late January.

Chudyk said in a statement last month that union members were "left with no other option than to take a strike vote."

"While City Council has taken a 4.8% raise over the last two years, they are leaving City employees with their fifth year without a raise," he said.

"Our membership can not afford to strike, but they also cannot afford to bear the brunt of this injustice any longer."

Applying for a lockout poll will allow the city to lock out workers during a strike "to minimize disruption to city services," the city said in Friday's release.

"We know that if CSU 52 members strike, there will be impacts to city services," Plouffe said.

"Both the extraordinary application to the ALRB and the service planning work happening internally are being done with the sole intent of minimizing any impacts from potential disruptions." Top Stories

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