CALGARY (660 NEWS) – A local union says it’s shocked after learning retirement payments for some parking workers will soon be gone.
The payments are due to be scrapped by the Calgary Parking Authority (CPA) in August.
The decision caught members of CUPE Local 38 off guard who said they were never consulted about it.
“We’ve just concluded a round of bargaining where the employer didn’t raise this issue at all,” said CUPE 38 President D’Arcy Lanovaz. “They waited until we’ve concluded bargaining to, now all of a sudden, make an announcement without communicating anything to the union.”
Lanovaz said the only communication they’ve had with the CPA was through an email where the company confirmed the change which the union found out about through a third-party
“Thursday of last week was when we found out. Not from the Calgary Parking Authority but from someone else,” said Lanovaz.
Lanovaz said the retirement payments are a huge benefit to those who have worked years, even decades in the company.
He adds these payouts are only for those who leave the company and go on pension.
“We’re at a loss (as to) why they want, in essence, to go after their own employee population. It’s not a significant amount of money. It really is reserved for those that have devoted their career to CPA and to have this ripped away without any consultation or any communication, it’s deeply disappointing.”
The union is now considering legal action against the Calgary Parking Authority and will likely file a grievance.
“We fully expect resistance from CPA,” said Lanovaz. “They’ve very clearly communicated that they didn’t want to discuss or co-operate with the union on this. We’ve moved forward to engage in the appropriate challenge which we believe will be successful.”
In an email sent to 660 NEWS, the Calgary Parking Authority said it “made the difficult but responsible decision to discontinue the retirement bonus following our review of the annual budget and other operational considerations.
“Our decision followed The City’s announcement in December and is in keeping with common business practice in the current economic climate. This is not a collective agreement line item as the retirement bonus applies to all CPA employees”