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City, CUPE break off talks

Contract talks between the City of Kelowna and its unionized CUPE workers have broken off.

A note posted on the union's website says talks broke off after five days of mediation, earlier this month, failed to end with an agreement.

"Talks were progressing but both sides were unable to agree on several key issues," the union says in the statement.

"CUPE Local 338 Kelowna Civic Worker's bargaining committee will be meeting to strategize on how to proceed with bargaining and will look to continue negotiations with the City of Kelowna shortly thereafter. There are no immediate plans for job action at this time."

Back on May 21, union members voted 94 per cent in favour of strike action to back contract demands.

Neither side is stating publicly what issues remain outstanding or how far apart they are on those issues.

CUPE workers have been without a contract since December 31 of last year.

That agreement gave workers a 1.25% pay hike in 2010 and 2011 and a 1.5% boost in 2012 and 2013.

It took more than a year to reach that agreement.

Contracts were recently announced between CUPE workers and the City of Langley and the Powell River Regional District.

Workers in those communities received 6.75% pay increases over four years and 8.5% over five years respectively.

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