Schedule Changes:

Tuesday, September 26: Leisure Pool & Hot Tub will close at 3:15pm due to staff shortages. Regular programmed lessons will continue.

Friday September 30: National Truth & Reconciliation Day, regular programming is cancelled. We are open 1:00pm to 4:00pm for an Open Swim in the pool and Everyone Welcome & Pond Hockey on the arenas. 

Strathcona Gardens Union Strike Action

Jan 31, 2022 – NEWS  |  Strathcona Gardens Recreation Complex Opens 

The SRD and the United Steelworker (USW) Local 1-1937 agree to resolve the current labour dispute through a mediation and arbitration process.

USW staff will return to work while both parties use an independent mediator/arbitrator to move forward and negotiate a new collective agreement.

The Strathcona Gardens Recreation Complex opens its doors:

  • Tuesday February 1 –  Arenas are available for booked ice user groups
  • Wednesday February 2 –  The entire complex is open to the general public

Please visit www.strathconagardens.com to confirm schedules and programming.

The SRD values Strathcona Gardens staff and the important community service they provide and looks forward to resuming rehabilitation, recreation and leisure services.

Covid Safety Protocols and public health orders are in place, visit www.strathconagardens.com/covid-19 for more information.

The SRD thanks the general public and user groups for their patience during the strike action and welcomes everyone back to the facility.

_________________________________________________________________________________

Frequently Asked Questions  |  Refund Info  |  News Releases

FAQ’s – Frequently Asked Questions

1 – Is the Strathcona Gardens Recreation Complex open?

The Strathcona Gardens Recreation Complex opens its doors:

  • Tuesday February 1 –  Arenas are available for booked ice user groups
  • Wednesday February 2 –  The entire complex is open to the general public

Please visit www.strathconagardens.com to confirm schedules and programming.

On November 22, 2021 the aquatic facility, fitness area, and programming was suspended indefinitely at the Strathcona Gardens Recreation Complex due to strike action taken by United Steelworker (USW) Local 1-1937 employees. Arena ice time continued to be available during the USW labour dispute.

2- Why was there a strike?
There are 82 unionized employees at the facility, represented by USW Local 1-1937.

Negotiations towards a new collective agreement began over a year ago in December 2020. The SRD’s priority has been to negotiate in good faith, an agreement that is financially responsible to taxpayers (City of Campbell River and Area D), keeping user fees reasonable, while at the same time providing fair compensation to employees through wages and benefits.

In Spring/Summer 2021, a 4-year tentative agreement was reached that included wage increases comparable to other recently negotiated agreements on the North Island and Mid Island (including the City of Campbell River, the City of Courtenay, the Town of Qualicum Beach, the Village of Cumberland, the Regional District of Nanaimo and the Comox Valley Regional District).

In July 2021, after 7 months of bargaining including mediation, the SRD and USW bargaining committees agreed to bring an approved tentative deal to their respective parties but this tentative agreement was rejected by the USW members.

After a rejected tentative agreement and three rejected SRD offers (Dec 13, 2021 and two offers on Jan 17, 2022) the Strathcona Gardens Commission continues to unanimously support binding arbitration as the next progressive step to resolve the outstanding dispute.

January 31, 2022, The SRD and the Union (USW 1-1937) agreed to resolve the current labour dispute through a mediation and arbitration process. USW staff will return to work while both parties use an independent mediator/arbitrator to move forward and negotiate a new collective agreement.

3- Why was SRD requesting binding arbitration?

After months of negotiations that have included mediation, a rejected tentative agreement, and three additional rejected SRD offers, the SRD had offered to return to mediation. If this second attempt at mediation failed, the SRD had requested moving directly to binding arbitration as a last resort. The SRD had proposed using Vince Ready who is widely regarded as the top mediator and arbitrator in Canada. In binding arbitration, both parties would accept the decision of Vince Ready, a neutral, third-party arbitrator. Proposing binding arbitration as a backup to mediation will ensure that the current labour dispute has a clear pathway to resolution and that USW does not return to strike action that further disrupts facility services and programs.

This approach is a common progression of steps to resolve a labour dispute so that USW, SRD, employees, and the community know what process will be followed moving forward. This process was rejected by the Union but on January 31, 2022 both parties (SRD & the Union) agreed to resolve the current labour dispute through a mediation and arbitration process.

4 – What is the negotiation timeline?

  • December 2020: SRD and Union bargaining committees begin negotiations.
  • December 31, 2020: The union collective agreement expires.
  • December 2020 to March 2021: the SRD and USW resolve a number of issues but reach an impasse on wages and a change to scheduling language.
  • March 2021: the SRD applies for mediation from the BC Labour Relations Board (LRB) to assist in resolving the outstanding issues.
  • April and May 2021: the bargaining committees meet with LRB appointed mediator to resolve outstanding issues.
  • May 2021: the LRB appointed mediator issues recommendations for settlement.
  • July 2021: the bargaining committees confirm in writing with the LRB appointed mediator that they would accept his recommendations and agree to take the tentative agreement to their respective ratification processes with their recommendations to approve the agreement.
  • August 2021: SRD Board of Directors ratifies the tentative agreement.
  • August 2021: USW members (employees of Strathcona Gardens) reject the tentative agreement.
  • October 2021: the USW presents a new offer to the SRD. The SRD rejects the offer and verbally suggests binding arbitration as a way to resolve the impasse.
  • October 2021: SRD makes first written request that USW participate in binding arbitration.
  • November 2021: SRD makes second and third written requests that USW participate in binding arbitration.
  • November 2021: USW begins rotating strikes.
  • November 22, 2021: USW begins ongoing strike action (still underway).
  • December 2021: The SRD makes USW a revised offer, which was rejected.
  • December 2021: the SRD applies to the Minister of Labour for a last offer vote to USW membership as per Section 78 (6) of the Labour Relations Code. The last offer vote is a method to present the offer directly to union membership without going through the union bargaining committee. The request was denied due to the lack of impact to the health, safety or welfare of the citizens of Campbell River and short duration of the strike. Recreation is not considered an essential service.  See the letter from the Minister of Labour HERE.
  • Jan 2022: The SRD makes USW two more offers, which were rejected.
  • Jan 31 2022: The SRD and USW agree to resolve the current labour dispute through a mediation and arbitration process. USW staff will return to work while both parties use an independent mediator/arbitrator to move forward and negotiate a new collective agreement.

5- How did the ice arenas remain open for booked users without USW staff?
The ice arenas are able to remain open for booked user groups because non-unionized SRD managers at the facility are fully qualified and hold the legally required certification to safely maintain and operate the facility.

6- What is the Strathcona Gardens Commission, and what does it do?

The Strathcona Gardens Recreation Complex is overseen by the Strathcona Gardens Commission. The Commission’s role is to make decisions about the operation and maintenance of the Strathcona Gardens Recreation Complex. The Commission does not make day-to-day decisions – these are handled by the Complex’s management team and the CAO. Rather, the Commission is responsible for approving the facility’s budget and strategic priorities.

The Commission is made up of 5 members of the Strathcona Regional District Board. Under Bylaw 1352, the Commission must consist of: 3 Board members from the City of Campbell River, the Director for Electoral Area D (Oyster Bay-Buttle Lake), and 1 Board member appointed to represent the community at large.

The current members of the Commission are:

  • Chair – Andy Adams (Campbell River)
  • Vice Chair – Brenda Leigh (Electoral Area D Director)
  • Colleen Evans (Campbell River)
  • Ron Kerr (Campbell River)
  • Cal Grunerud (community at large)

7-Where can I find the most recent USW Local 1-1937 collective agreement?

View the collective agreement or the Schedule ‘A’ Wages HERE.

8- Do employees in the USW Local 1-1937 bargaining unit receive cost of living adjustments to their wages?

Here is a comparison of the general wage increases that the USW Local 1-1937 bargaining unit has negotiated since the Strathcona Regional District was established in 2008 compared to the Annual Average Index of the BC Consumer Price Index.

  2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018 2019 2020 Totals
Negotiated Wage Increases 2.75% 2.75% 0.00% 2.00% 3.00% 1.50% 2.00% 2.00% 2.00% 2.00% 2.00% 2.00% 2.00% 26.00%
BC CPI 2.10% 0.00% 1.30% 2.40% 1.10% -0.10% 1.00% 1.10% 1.80% 2.10% 2.70% 2.30% 0.80% 18.60%

 The negotiated wage increases that Strathcona Gardens employees received since 2008 are greater than the BC CPI.

9- What Consumer Price Index (CPI) metric does SRD use?

The SRD uses the annual average index of the BC CPI ( BC Consumer Price Index) for indexation purposes at the SRD. Annual average indexes are calculated by averaging index levels over the 12 months of the calendar year.

This data should not be confused with the 12-month change in the CPI. By the nature of the calculation, averaging indexes over the calendar year gives a better representation of price behaviour over the whole year and is closer to the concept of an average price.

The use of annual averages is considered the preferred option for indexation purposes (sources: Statistics Canada).

Here is the chart from December 2021 reporting from BC Stats:

Last year, the 2020 Annual Average of the BC CPI was 0.80%.

10- Why are there delivery trucks crossing the picket line?

The managers on site are maintaining the facility to ensure it is ready to open safely at a moment’s notice. For example, pools require daily maintenance and chemical injection to maintain health standards and chemical deliveries are required every few weeks to maintain the pools.

Refunds

How can I get a refund or reschedule programs and lessons that I’m missing?

SRD will automatically issue monthly and annual pass holders with a credit for the number of days that the service was interrupted. These credits will be issued once full services resume so that we can provide an accurate credit.  SRD will reimburse patrons for lessons, birthday parties, events, and other programs that were missed due to the interruption of service.

To obtain a refund, patrons can contact Robin Kentrop – Senior Manager, Strathcona Gardens. Please leave Robin a phone message at 250-830-6744 or send an email to rkentrop@srd.ca and you will be contacted within 2 business days to process the refund or rebook activities.

SRD News Releases

Still Have Questions?

Please email your questions to communications@srd.ca