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Edmonton city strike: What will be open, closed, affected and unaffected


Edmonton's city manager says civic staff is taking steps to minimize the impact of a strike by more than 6,000 workers slated to begin on Thursday morning.

Andre Corbould in a Monday media release said safety and security are the top priorities as the city prepares "to respond to the labour disruption, and contingency plans are in place to minimize service disruptions."

"Effective immediately, these plans and the Emergency Operations Centre are being activated to ensure a coordinated approach to maintaining core services," Corbould said.

The workers represented by the Civic Service Union Local 52 on Friday turned down a contract offer from the city in a direct vote.

They voted 87.6 per cent against the city's offer of a retroactive 7.25-per-cent wage increase over five years from 2021 to 2025.

The workers have been working without a contract since 2020 and last month voted in favour of strike action

Service disruptions

The city said these services will be affected if workers in Civil Service Union Local 52 go on a full strike:

  • all recreation centres will be closed to the public except for any pre-arranged bookings and the Learn to Swim and Safety Certification programs;
  • city attractions will be closed; 
  • 311 info phone line service reduced to urgent public safety and bylaw matters; 
  • building inspections and permits; 
  • pet licensing; 
  • transit tickets, passes, subsidized passes, and lost and found; and 
  • parking and bylaw ticket enforcement.

An exhaustive list of service disruptions is available online

Services expected to continue

The city said the services that are expected to be unaffected are:

  • Edmonton Fire Rescue Services;
  • Edmonton Transit Service;
  • Dedicated Accessible Transit Service (DATS);
  • construction on capital projects;
  • snow clearing; and
  • waste collection.

Libraries to close

The Edmonton Public Library on Monday said all branches will close on Thursday at 11 a.m. when CSU 52 workers begin their strike.

All programs, classes, events and services are cancelled for the next week, it said.

  • Library users will be able to access the EPL's online resources and catalogue.
  • Customers should keep loaned material at home until it reopens.
  • Due dates for materials will be extended. Late fees will not accrue.

Police emergency services will be 'normal'

In a media release on Tuesday, the Edmonton Police Service said its emergency services and response "will function as normal" during a strike.

Residents can call 911 for emergencies and 780-423-4567 for non-emergent situations.

Officer recruitment will continue but timing may be affected, police said.

EPS said other changes to its service will include:

  • closure of all EPS front counters except downtown;
  • suspension of police information checks;
  • public access to the police-seized storage lot restricted to 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. weekdays;
  • property and exhibit section public access restricted to 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. weekdays; and
  • suspension of public job postings and civilian recruitment. 

City council reaction

No progress was made on Monday between CSU 52 and the city in private meetings. The union says its members will be on the picket line on Thursday.

Mayor Amarjeet Sohi said on Tuesday at city hall that council, which isn't involved in the talks, is encouraging both sides to continue negotiations.

"A strike or lockout is something that no one desires, and it causes a lot of anxiety and hardship for employees, for Edmontonians, people who consume services," Sohi told reporters.

Coun. Aaron Paquette said strike action is a "legitimate tool of negotiation" and that people can expect a reduction in services if it begins on Thursday as promised.

"At this point, anything that is essential or emergency is going to be covered," said Paquette, who represents Ward Dene. "Other than that, this is a discussion, and it's a serious one that we're all having right now."

Coun. Tim Cartmell said avoiding a strike or lockout would be preferred to keep relations between the city and the unionized workers as harmonious as possible.

"Our unions are our partners in delivering services to the residents of Edmonton and we should treat them that way," Cartmell, who represents Ward pihêsiwin, told CTV News Edmonton on Monday.

"There should be a conversation that is how do we extend and build upon our relationship and our partnership, not an adversarial, take-it-or-leave-it kind of a thing, which is what strikes and lockouts tend to speak to."

With files from CTV News Edmonton's Nav Sangha and Jeremy Thompson Top Stories

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