KAMLOOPS – Drastic changes to the way by-laws are enforced in Kamloops will mean higher costs for less service and pose a possible threat to public safety, says the union representing by-law enforcement officers and jail guards.
“The City is forcing through an inefficient and ill-conceived restructuring plan for the by-law enforcement department that will mean fewer officers doing more work ,” says Carmen Sullivan, president of CUPE 900, the union representing Kamloops by-law enforcement officers and jail guards. “These plans were conceived by a management group with little or no bylaw experience. There has been no supporting data or studies provided that suggest this restructuring is in any way better for the community. This is not good for Kamloops and will cast aside workers who have kept the community safe for decades.”
CUPE 900 is not opposed to change and has made repeated attempts to work with the City of Kamloops to address problems with the restructuring. The City however has refused to consider resolutions that would respect the service our members provide to the community.
“By-law enforcement officers and jail guards are proud to serve Kamloops and help protect their families, friends and neighbours in the community. They have loyally served the City – in some cases for more than 30 years – and they deserve to be heard,” says Sullivan. “As the restructuring stands now, many officers and guards will lose their jobs, and those who don’t will be expected to dramatically reorient there lives around a shift structure that does not allow for any work life balance. It’s just not right.”
CUPE 900 is telling Mayor and Council that the City does not have the right under the collective agreement to unilaterally force through the restructuring it has planned. The City has given CUPE 900 no alternative but to move forward with an arbitration that is set for August 2021.
“The Mayor and Council should stop this process until an arbitrator is able to rule on the matter,” says Sullivan. “That is the best way to ensure community and public safety, as well as ensure workers are safe on the job. CUPE 900 has an obligation to protect our members and will ensure that by-law enforcement officers and jail guards are treated fairly.”