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Labour relations board approves direct vote of City of Edmonton's contract offer to more than 6,000 employees

A file photo of Edmonton City Hall. A file photo of Edmonton City Hall.
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The province's labour board has approved a request from the City of Edmonton to hold a direct vote by workers on its contract offer.

The city announced on Wednesday the Alberta Labour Relations Board confirmed an electronic vote on the offer will be held on Monday from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m.

The vote comes with the city and the union representing more than 6,000 technical, professional, administrative and clerical workers, including employees at the Edmonton Public Library, at an impasse in contract negotiations.

Workers with Civic Service Union 52, who have been working without a contract since 2020, voted overwhelmingly in favour of strike action earlier this month.

CSU 52 applied for a strike vote following a mandatory 14-day cooling-off period that ended Jan. 30.

It came after contract negotiations between the city and the bargaining units stalled, the union said in late January.

The city's latest offer to the workers would give them a retroactive 7.25-per-cent wage increase over five years from 2021 to 2025.

It applied to the labour board for an employer proposal vote, which lets workers vote directly on the offer.

The city in a media release on Wednesday said its offer includes a commitment to hybrid work among other enhancements.

“We believe our offer is fair when you consider the balance the City needs to achieve between recognizing the value of employees through a pay raise and the impact that increase has on all taxpayers,” Cyndil Taylor, the City of Edmonton's acting chief people officer, said in a statement.

In a statement to CTV News Edmonton, CSU 52 said, in part:

"CSU 52 members were well aware of the City’s final offer before they gave the union a 91% mandate to strike. Although we are disappointed with the Alberta Labour Board’s result, we respect the decision to move forward with the Proposal Vote which will have membership vote on the City’s only offer. To be clear, the City of Edmonton’s 'best and final' offer has been the only offer they’ve brought to the table during the last 18 months of negotiations."

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