09/02/2015 11:02 EDT | Updated 09/02/2016 01:12 EDT

Lockout drags on as new demand derails mediated settlement in Qualicum Beach

QUALICUM BEACH, B.C. — What looked like an end to a month-long lockout of civic employees in Qualicum Beach, B.C., has been derailed by what the union says is a new and unexpected demand from council.

Sixty-five members of CUPE local 401 voted last week to accept a mediator's recommendations ending a lockout that began July 31st.

A release from local president Blaine Gurrie says members expected to return to work today in the east coast Vancouver Island community.

Qualicum Beach councillors met to consider the proposed settlement and announced Tuesday that it would not be accepted unless the union excludes the IT co-ordinator position from the bargaining unit.

The union says BC Labour Relations Board mediator David Schaub has advised council that the job exclusion demand is not part of his recommendations and council is wrong to assume it was discussed.

A statement issued by Mayor Teunis Westbroek says the lockout will continue because excluding the IT job is the only way council can accept the mediator's recommendation for a two per cent annual wage increase.  

The Canadian Press