Nearly 140 Saint John city workers, including 911 operators, initiated a strike on Tuesday, leading to disruptions in various municipal services.
CUPE Local 486, the union representing inside workers, began their strike action at 6 a.m., affecting employees in clerical, administrative, support, IT, and technical roles. The strike has impacted critical services, including police, fire, and 911 dispatch, as well as customer service, bylaw enforcement, permitting, recreation, court services, financial services, and administrative support.
To ensure the continuity of emergency operations, the city has redeployed managers and non-union staff to deliver essential services. The public can rest assured that emergency operations, including 911, will continue without interruption. However, non-emergency public services will experience delays and disruptions.
Access to certain police services, such as criminal record checks, fingerprints for the public, and requests for collision reports, will be suspended until further notice. Additionally, residents may face delays in accessing non-emergency telephone call processing, email inquiries, information about court cases, lost/seized/found property, and non-provincial victim services.
The Saint John Board of Police Commissioners expressed their commitment to the public’s safety during the strike and emphasized the activation of a contingency plan. Their proposal to have 911 operators remain on duty as essential workers and have their wages independently arbitrated, similar to police officers, was unfortunately rejected by CUPE.
As a result of the strike, Saint John’s Customer Service Centre is no longer accessible in person. However, residents can still reach out for assistance by calling 506-658-4455 or emailing [email protected]. Longer wait times are to be expected, as calls will be prioritized based on urgency.
The city advises citizens to anticipate delays in all municipal services due to picketing activity. While the union claims that the city’s contract offer violates its wage escalation policy, the city maintains that it has presented a fair and reasonable offer.
Despite the disruption caused by the strike, the city has contingency plans in place to minimize the impact on public services. Efforts will be made to ensure essential operations continue smoothly, while negotiations between the city and CUPE continue in hopes of resolving the labor dispute and restoring normalcy to the affected municipal services.
1. How many city workers are on strike in Saint John?
Nearly 140 city workers, including 911 operators, initiated the strike in Saint John.
2. Which services are disrupted due to the strike?
Services affected by the strike include police/fire/911 dispatch, customer service, bylaw enforcement, permitting, recreation, court services, financial services, administrative support, IT, and technical roles.
3. Will emergency operations be affected by the strike?
No, emergency operations, including 911 services, will continue without interruption.
4. Which police services will be suspended during the strike?
Services such as criminal record checks, fingerprints for the public, requests for collision reports, and access to information requests and results will be suspended until further notice.
5. How can residents contact the Customer Service Centre during the strike?
While the Customer Service Centre cannot be accessed in person, residents can still call 506-658-4455 or email [email protected] for assistance. However, longer wait times should be expected.