The union that represents municipal workers in Conception Bay South says its members feel bullied and harassed by managers.

The Canadian Union of Public Employees, local 3034, held a lunchtime protest outside the town hall in C.B.S. on Friday.

"Over the past few years, we've had great communication with the town of C.B.S.," said local president Terri-Lynn Cooper.

"We've always managed to sit down and discuss things, and have a formal group meeting and come to a compromise."

But she said things have changed since she took over the union's leadership job in February 2015.

"Presently the executive right now is being scrutinized and being asked questions and the union activities and trust has been gone," said Cooper.

She said she has been in disciplinary meetings "which have been totally unnecessary."

"We've also had some issues with the girls not being able to be provided a healthy and clean sanitary bathroom and lunchroom," said Cooper.

"The ex-president, he's now gone, and he's been here for 30 years — he never had all these issues that were going on. Me as a female, why am I having all these problems?" Cooper said. "Why am I being called into all these meetings?"

Terri-Lynn Cooper

Terri-Lynn Cooper says the union never had problems with C.B.S. managers until she took over as president of the local last February. (CBS)

Union members are entitled to file grievances, she said, without feeling intimidated.

"We have a monument of honour here to a solider, a woman soldier," said Cooper. "Why am I being discriminated? It's not right. We are all here standing together to prove a point."

Council 'deeply concerned'

In a statement Friday afternoon, C.B.S. mayor Stephen Tessier said this is the first council has heard of the complaints.

"Council and management are deeply concerned with the allegations of gender discrimination within the organization which we have learned about this afternoon from [the CBC's] call for a comment," said Tessier.

"Management has always held, in high regard, a positive relationship with all employees and continually welcomes open discussion. The Senior Management Team are very disappointed and shocked to hear of such allegations."

CUPE local 3034 represents about 180 workers, who clear snow, pick up garbage and run parks and recreation facilities. 

Cooper, who works with the town's Humane Services, said the problems are with managers, not elected councillors.  

"There's a lot going on here. We'd like to sit down and try to reason these things out," she said.

With files Meaghan McCabe