After nearly one week of strike action by three CUPE locals in Cornwall the union and the city are returning to the bargaining table. 

On Wednesday, four hundred striking inside and outside workers, paramedics and library employees held a noon hour rally outside Cornwall's municipal offices. The workers, excluding the inside workers, went on strike last week after contract talks broke down. The inside workers joined Wednesday, May 23rd, 2018.

"All the collective agreements are expired since 2016,  the case of library 2015" said Alison Denis, a CUPE Negotiator. "The employer came to the table with concessions and our members are not willing to concede anything within long established collective agreements." 

For many striking workers, like long-time library worker Monique Branchaud, this strike is about respect and pay.

"We are one of the lowest paid for library workers in a municipality of our size and we are just trying to get up to par."

As part of the strike, managers at the library are working from 1 until 4 p.m. Other municipal services, including city run aquatic facilities and daycares and the number of ambulances on the road have been impacted as well. 

"We got into this job to help people," said paramedic Amanda Palieps. "So it goes against our whole reason for choosing that kind of job but we have no other recourse. We have a legal right to strike and it's the only way we can get a fair deal."

Late Wednesday, the city said it would be returning to the table on Thursday morning.

"While the City committed to the bargaining process, there are issues which are fundamental to the City's operational and financial needs that must be resolved to ensure that any deal reached is fair not just for employees, but for the taxpayers," the statement read.

The city also insits it was CUPE who requested the end of the conciliation process that led to the setting of a strike date.