Naramata CUPE workers on strike

Re: Naramata CUPE workers on strike

Postby cv23 » Aug 21st, 2014, 6:14 pm

I too was trying to understand what CUPE was doing running a god business and heres what I found

is a Canadian trade union serving the public sector - although it has in recent years organized workplaces in the non-profit and para-public sector as well.


Clearly you still don't understand as CUPE has absolutely nothing to do with running the Naramata Centre.
The United Church runs the Naramata Centre while the CUPE members are/were strictly employees.
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Re: Naramata CUPE workers on strike

Postby fluffy » Aug 21st, 2014, 6:28 pm

I think I'll hold off commenting on the picket line altercation for the moment, all we really know for sure at this point was that CUPE was the first one to the media, probably because they've had more practice.
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Re: Naramata CUPE workers on strike

Postby cv23 » Aug 21st, 2014, 6:33 pm

fluffy wrote:I think I'll hold off commenting on the picket line altercation for the moment, all we really know for sure at this point was that CUPE was the first one to the media, probably because they've had more practice.

They had to do something to get their dispute back in the public eye.
While it is clear a couple members would insist on remaining on strike and picketing to save their jobs the vast majority can't be very happy as no matter what raises they get in the next ten contracts they will likely never recoup the lost income from being on strike since May.
Last edited by cv23 on Aug 21st, 2014, 6:51 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Naramata CUPE workers on strike

Postby fluffy » Aug 21st, 2014, 6:48 pm

I'm sure they're not going hungry, a union as strong as CUPE will surely be offering up strike pay of some measure. These sort of disputes usually circle around a principle of some description, in this case it's contracting out of work formerly performed by union employees. Job security generally forms a pretty basic part of most union agreements, it's just complicated in this case by the fact that the last contract had agreed to some limited levels of out-sourcing of labour, a position they apparently want to reverse now.
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Re: Naramata CUPE workers on strike

Postby twobits » Aug 21st, 2014, 6:58 pm

This whole thing really puzzles me. It just not seem to be a model for unionization. Exactely who is exploiting who here? While it could be argued that organized religion is big business in itself, we are talking about the United Church here. A charitable organization....not Coast Hotels abusing foreign workers as chamber maids. The business model of this retreat in Naramata obviously cannot support paying staff at the rates it does. I have looked at the wage scale for the posted positions and quite frankly, while not rich, are more than fair for the local market.
Bottom line is that I do not think the United Church is trying to skrew the current employee's, I think they are just trying to keep the Naramata Center open. When the Ramada Inn can quote a price cheaper group rates because of lower overheads, you have a serious business plan problem.
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Re: Naramata CUPE workers on strike

Postby cv23 » Aug 21st, 2014, 7:13 pm

fluffy wrote:I'm sure they're not going hungry, a union as strong as CUPE will surely be offering up strike pay of some measure. These sort of disputes usually circle around a principle of some description, in this case it's contracting out of work formerly performed by union employees. Job security generally forms a pretty basic part of most union agreements, it's just complicated in this case by the fact that the last contract had agreed to some limited levels of out-sourcing of labour, a position they apparently want to reverse now.


Maybe the United Church no longer feels the need to abide by a contract which they signed with CUPE now that CUPE doesn't want to abide by it ?
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Re: Naramata CUPE workers on strike

Postby CTF » Aug 22nd, 2014, 12:37 pm

Three things I learned about strikes from my first union job.

1. Management represents management
2. Union represent the Union interests
3. Workers usually end up on the loosing end from the first 2.

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Re: Naramata CUPE workers on strike

Postby Symbonite » Aug 22nd, 2014, 12:45 pm

the CUPE workers are probably blowing everything out of preportion. They will do anything to make it look like Poor us.

Too bad for them they are being shuffled out by the craziness of the teachers.

Whats the other side of the story.
**Disclaimer: The above statement is in my OPINION only.

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Re: Naramata CUPE workers on strike

Postby southy » Aug 26th, 2014, 10:16 am

twobits wrote:This whole thing really puzzles me. It just not seem to be a model for unionization. Exactely who is exploiting who here? While it could be argued that organized religion is big business in itself, we are talking about the United Church here. A charitable organization....not Coast Hotels abusing foreign workers as chamber maids. The business model of this retreat in Naramata obviously cannot support paying staff at the rates it does. I have looked at the wage scale for the posted positions and quite frankly, while not rich, are more than fair for the local market.
Bottom line is that I do not think the United Church is trying to skrew the current employee's, I think they are just trying to keep the Naramata Center open. When the Ramada Inn can quote a price cheaper group rates because of lower overheads, you have a serious business plan problem.


I don't know if I agree 100% with you Twobits. It would seem to me there really isn't a business plan or if there is current management hasn't divulged it to the union, it's participants or the general public. Lack of transparency is somewhat concerning and keeps everything muddied. I do agree with you that the rates being paid employees though not extravagant is probably in line. From what I gather, increased wages are not the issue here, its about contracting out and goes further.
My guess is that the Naramata Centre or/ United Church is really trying to get rid of the union to accommodate whatever business plan they have for the future and that plan (a guess only) might include selling off the 23 acres of prime real estate. I see where the United church is the in the process of selling off Camp Hurlbert up in Vernon. Guess the God business is alittle slow these days. Naramata Centre executive also had Colliers International do a report which in it Colliers state that the Unionized workers wages were not the problem when it comes to the financial stability of the Centre. Also heard that management there also received some pretty hefty raises the past year. Very difficult to figure out what is going on. This strike has been going on for almost 4 months now ... quite long I'd say. Will be interesting to see how this one plays out. CUPE is a pretty big union and probably don't want to lose this fight. And the United Church probably doesn't want to lose this fight. Go figure.
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Re: Naramata CUPE workers on strike

Postby ToddT » Aug 26th, 2014, 11:27 am

I think you may have hit the nail on the head. That land is worth BIG bucks. Definitely way more than it is making right now.
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Re: Naramata CUPE workers on strike

Postby cv23 » Aug 26th, 2014, 11:49 am

Selling of the land itself really has little or nothing to do with a union.
If the business is sold then it's another story
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Re: Naramata CUPE workers on strike

Postby fluffy » Aug 26th, 2014, 6:12 pm

I can't see how the union could hold any sway over a business decision like closing the centre and selling the land. I see this as a dispute over contracting out of union labour, traditionally sacred ground for trade unions. Even if limited outsourcing had been permitted in the last contract, it looks like the union wants to end it altogether. Conversely, it looks like management is reluctant to relinquish that little bit of power they have circumvent a union monopoly.
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Re: Naramata CUPE workers on strike

Postby twobits » Aug 27th, 2014, 7:49 am

fluffy wrote:I see this as a dispute over contracting out of union labour, traditionally sacred ground for trade unions. Even if limited outsourcing had been permitted in the last contract, it looks like the union wants to end it altogether. Conversely, it looks like management is reluctant to relinquish that little bit of power they have circumvent a union monopoly.


That appears to be the jist of it. The last offer made to CUPE was essentially the status quo where six positions in food service and groundskeeping were allowed to be contracted out. 2 food, 4 grounds I believe. It would seem that CUPE has taken this to the wall in an effort to get back those six positions they has previously agreed to allow to be contracted out. Seems to be a rather risky stand to take IMO. Here's an interesting read.

https://www.naramatacentre.net/managed- ... dium=email
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Re: Naramata CUPE workers on strike

Postby cv23 » Aug 27th, 2014, 10:22 am

Thanks for the info twobits.
Certainly a very strange situation given that supposedly CUPE had agreed to the contracting out which is almost unheard of by a union without receiving a major concession in exchange . It would very interesting to know if CUPE is willing to return whatever major concession the employer must have made, be it benefit or wage increase, in exchange for removing the contracting out clause or does CUPE want it both ways by removing the clause and keeping the benefit/wage increase it had received.
Without a viable operating business, with no encumbrances associated to it, the centre is only worth the value of the land it sits on should the church decide to close up the centre and sell. They would be taking a huge hit, but not as big a hit as the remaining union workers at that location would take if the business was closed and/or the property sold. CUPE, nor any union, likes to show any hint of weakness especially regarding contracting out but will all that bravado come at further the expense of the centre workers?
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Re: Naramata CUPE workers on strike

Postby southy » Aug 27th, 2014, 2:20 pm

Twobits and CV though your comments make sense, after reading the attached I am still somewhat confused with the stance Naramata Centre is taking. Why don't do they just fire everybody or give them a severance and say see ya later. They obviously have plans according to this article. Why would they keep the union hanging around??

http://northwood-united.org/news/naramata-centre-update
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