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'Look somewhere else': Calgary unions say no to wage rollbacks

Last Updated Jun 11, 2019 at 6:55 pm MDT

CALGARY (660 NEWS) – Calgary’s new tax relief plan is good news for business, but at what cost will it come to for the city?

On Monday (June 10), Calgary City Council voted unanimously in favour of a relief program for businesses impacted by massive tax hikes.

As part of the program, just over $70 million will be given to help businesses but it’s coming at a cost of $60 million worth of cuts from the City’s budget.

WATCH: Council approves tax relief plan for business

Now, administration is being tasked with where to make those cuts, but local unions are saying it won’t come from them.

The Calgary Firefighters Association, the Transit union and indoor workers with the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) have all said the city asked for voluntary wage rollbacks recently. All three declined those proposals.

“They (council) can’t seem to get their house in order,” said D’Arcy Lanovaz, President of CUPE. “They’re spending, spending, spending. They expect staff to be the ones to bear all the cuts and we’ve borne those cuts repeatedly.”

Right now, the Transit union doesn’t have a new collective bargaining agreement with the city but said it won’t accept a deal that involves wage cuts.

Lanovaz said that these unions have sacrificed enough already.

“We have taken the cuts along with the rest of the public. The public has felt the pain, we’ve felt the pain alongside them.”

Lanovaz goes on to say that many of these unions either didn’t fill positions or were forced to eliminate temporary postings over the last two years.