Things have deteriorated so far in the City of London's inside workers dispute that the union and the city are no longer putting out joint statements, or, it seems, honouring a media blackout.
Late Monday afternoon, CUPE Local 101 issued a statement saying negotiations had fallen apart and that the city had introduced new amendments to the agreement that had never been seen before, however they do not explain further.
“We are very disappointed to say the least that the city still has no intention to settle this strike,” says President of CUPE Local 101 Shelley Navarroli. “Instead of finding common ground for a tentative agreement, the city is escalating the situation by introducing new elements at this stage of the strike – it seems designed to make things go from bad to worse.”
On Monday night at about 10pm, Mayor Matt Brown issued a statement of his own, claiming CUPE Local 101 "surprised the city negotiating team" by claiming talks collapsed. Brown says the city has made significant moves in hopes of reaching a deal, including changes to proposed weekend hours, job evaluations and promotions.
The City’s offer includes permanent wages increases of 1%, 1%, 1% and 1.1% over four years and benefit additions including the addition of laser surgery, improved bereavement leave and increased insurance.
CUPE Local 101 says it's considering all options including legal action while it remains open to a sincere interest by the city to resume negotiations and resolve the strike by about 750 employees that began May 25.
*with files from Ashton Patis