News Briefs: Union Rejects Water Utility's Latest Proposal

In this week's news, a labor dispute continues between Halifax Water and public employees, and a Wisconsin city inches closer in its pursuit of Lake Michigan water
News Briefs: Union Rejects Water Utility's Latest Proposal

Public employees of the Halifax Regional Water Commission (Halifax Water) and the utility were back at the bargaining table earlier this week before talks broke off once again, according to reports.

The ongoing labor strike continues after 335 workers from the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) Locals 227 and 1431 formed a picket line outside the utility’s headquarters in Halifax, Nova Scotia, on the morning of May 19.

Halifax Water spokesman James Campbell told The Chronicle Herald that negotiations between the two sides restarted on Sunday, June 21. However, six days of negotiations broke off on June 25. The main sticking point between the union and the agency has been employee pensions.

The Chronicle Herald previously reported that Halifax Water was paying AFIMAC Canada, a strike security contractor, $28,000 a day during the strike. “The reality is we need security in place for the safety of our staff, for the safety of union people on the picket line and to maintain the integrity and security of our infrastructure,” spokesman James Campbell told the newspaper. Campbell said Halifax Water is saving about $80,000 a day in wages and associated benefits while the unionized workers are on strike.

Source: The Chronicle Herald

Wisconsin City Seeking to Secure Lake Michigan Water
The City of Waukesha, Wisconsin, is one step closer to securing Great Lakes water for its municipal supply after the state Department of Natural Resources declared in a report that the city has “no reasonable alternative.”

The preliminary decision, which follows a five-year review, precedes a summer public comment period before the agency makes its final decision in December, an MLive Media Group article reports.

Prior to Michigan water flowing through Waukesha faucets, each of the seven other Great Lakes state governors will need to approve the city’s request.



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