News

Nelson rec complex strike cost $25,000

Two weeks of job action at the Nelson and District Community Complex this fall affected the facility
Two weeks of job action at the Nelson and District Community Complex this fall affected the facility's bottom line, a report says.
— image credit: Greg Nesteroff photo

Rotating strike action by unionized staff at the Nelson and District Community Complex this fall cost the facility over $25,000 in lost revenue, the Regional District of Central Kootenay says.

According to a report to the recreation commission, registration revenue declined $3,200 during the two-week walkout, facility revenue dropped $9,500, membership revenue was down $8,400 and drop-in and miscellaneous revenue dipped by $4,200.

The greatest impact was on high performance users of the facility, community services manager Joe Chirico wrote. “Due to the facilities being used heavily during peak demand times, these groups will not be able to pick up additional training time,” he said.

However, he added long-term use of the complex isn’t expected to be affected.

During the strike between September 21 and October 4, CUPE Local 2262 set up an information picket outside the building and portions were closed due to staff withdrawing services, but it never shut down entirely.

The arena and aquatic centre were each closed five days, and child-minding services weren’t available for four days. Management staffed the fitness and customer service desk when those employees walked out.

The complex received 2,240 fewer visits during that period compared to the same time last year, according to the report, not including decreased attendance as a result of fewer arena and pool rentals.

The report does not discuss wages not paid out as a result of the strike.

The dispute ended with a new four-year contract retroactive to 2011 with wage increases of one per cent in the first year, 1.5 per cent in the second, and cost of living in the third and fourth years, expected to be closer to two per cent.

Previously the union asked for a two-year deal with cost of living adjustments in both years while the regional district countered with two and three-year offers with one per cent increases in each year, in line with agreements with other employee groups.

CUPE represents 55 staff at the complex, 12 full-time and the rest part-time and casual. Wages range from $14.74 to $29.18 per hour.

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