Union members’ pay stays in community

Union boss argues that money earned is money spent

Re: “Incoming Sidney council should consider pay freeze” (Letters, Nov. 16)

Mr. Tanner implied that wage increases for municipal workers are “rich.” I would like to point out the current collective agreements bargained for this year in many of the area municipal governments have been two per cent raise per year, slightly below Statistic Canada’s inflation rate for Greater Victoria. Wage increases below the inflation rate cannot be considered “rich.”

On  wages in general; public-sector workers earn a living with which they can afford to live in their community, raise a family and importantly, shop in local businesses. We are all interconnected in our local economy and that is why the Canadian Union of Public Employees started a campaign to encourage members to shift spending habits from foreign-owned big box, to locally owned and operated businesses.

The key to a vibrant local economy is both a strong private and public sector, and they should be supporting each other, not attacking one another.

I encourage everyone to shop local, and to respect the hardworking city workers who help make our communities great.

Trevor Davies, president, CUPE 374

(representing municipal workers in Sidney and North Saanich)