Kamloops bylaw restructuring moving forward, despite concerns from union | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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Kamloops bylaw restructuring moving forward, despite concerns from union

December 04, 2020 - 5:30 PM

The City of Kamloops is going ahead with their bylaw department restructuring plan, despite strong opposition from the union representing the officers.

The Canadian Union of Public Employees said the City does not have the right under the collective agreement to do restructuring it has planned.

However, Kamloops's chief administrative officer David Trawin disagrees with the claim.

"They feel that there are certain clauses of the collective agreement that have been not followed with the restructure," Trawin said. "We feel that we have followed the collective agreement."

CUPE also claimed as the restructuring stands now, many officers and guards will lose their jobs. 

Trawin said all officers have the opportunity to apply for the new positions, which will make up the new Community Services Division. 

READ MORE: How Kamloops is trying to deal with a wide range of social issues facing all cities in B.C.

Officers would be required to respond to a wider variety of community service calls, and the City would provide the education and training they need. 

It's just a matter of whether they want to move into the new position, and if they can do the required training and pass the tests, he said.

Bylaw officers will have four options: apply for the Community Services Division, shift to a different position with the City, retire or quit.  

Some officers have already moved into a different position or made plans to retire, he said, and none have quit. 

The union said the City has refused to consider their proposed resolutions, and given them no alternative but to move forward with an arbitration, set for August 2021.

Trawin said that while they have been working on some of the union's concerns, some other requests aren't feasible. 

"Some of what the union wants, we can't do and achieve what we think we need to do to make a difference in the city," he said. "We try to work with them, but we're also trying to tell them what we need to do, and why we need to do it."

Ultimately, it will be up to a third party arbitrator to decide next summer.

Trawin said unless there is new direction given from council, the restructuring will continue to move forward. It is slated to be mostly complete by the new year.  

To contact a reporter for this story, email Brie Welton or call (250) 819-3723 or email the editor. You can also submit photos, videos or news tips to the newsroom and be entered to win a monthly prize draw.

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