BY CRAIG GILBERT
A notice of motion calling for the resignation of the board of directors of Greater Sudbury Hydro Plus Inc. has effectively blocked any meaningful
negotiation from happening before Sept. 30, according to chair Doug Craig.
Ward 2 Councillor Claude Berthiaume leaked the notice to media late last week.
However, he will not be at the next council meeting to be held Sept. 16. He will be out of town at a conference.
Craig, also a city councillor, says that means the strikers will be on the picket line until at least the end of the month.
?You can?t have a management team going in with that kind of cloud hanging over their head,? he said Tuesday. ?That notice of motion has to be dealt with by city council so we can go in, bargain in good faith and know what we say is supported by city council.?
Bull, says Berthiaume. ?This is a lame excuse for not negotiating. A person does not need to be present to have a notice of motion read. The intent was
always to deal with it Sept. 30.?
Craig has accused the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) Local 4705 of having Berthiaume and Ward 3 Councillor Andre Rivest in their back
pocket in response to Berthiaume?s notice of motion.
Rivest indicated he would second the motion, and is flabbergasted Craig would suggest such a thing.
?The only people that tell me what to do are in Ward 3. Not Craig, not the unions.?
Rivest plans to speak on the urgency of settling the dispute, but will stay out of the debate over whether the board should resign.
In the meantime, Local 4705 is calling on Mayor David Courtemanche, who sits on the board, to take a leadership role in the dispute.
The strike is in its 11th week.