SURREY - The City of Surrey is bringing the Surrey Animal Resource Centre in-house with unionized city staff. Surrey agreed with CUPE Local 402 that staffing the centre with CUPE workers will optimize customer service and provide excellent animal care.
The two sides have negotiated a letter of understanding that the centre will be staffed by CUPE members starting next month. The staff is expected to be six fulltime employees with the possibility of more work as the service grows. The issue had been among the local’s bargaining proposals in current contract talks but has been taken out of the package to be dealt with separately.
The centre provides animal care, information about owner responsibilities, dog off-leash areas, the City of Surrey's animal regulations, and serves as a call centre for lost pets and animal complaints.
CUPE Local 402 president Jeannie Kilby says the local is pleased to have the work come to the city. “The centre is located in a city-owned facility so it just makes sense that it be staffed by CUPE workers. We have the expertise and our members are dedicated, personable and caring – a perfect fit for an animal resource centre.”
“Our discussions with the City of Surrey on this were respectful, cooperative and productive,” says Kilby, “and that bodes well for our current contract talks.”
The City reports that “the parties pride themselves on innovatively working in partnership to best serve the residents of Surrey. Starting in 2016, SARC will provide greater opportunity for community involvement in a variety of animal related initiatives. “
“Our discussions with CUPE on this initiative were very productive, cooperative, and based on a clear desire to serve our residents and care for our animals in the best way possible. We look forward to building on the initial successes of SARC,” says Jas Rehal, Manager of Bylaw Enforcement and Licensing.