Collective agreement reached

The municipality and the municipal employees’ union have reached a five-year collective agreement.

The municipality and the municipal employees’ union have reached a five-year collective agreement.

The agreement with the Canadian Union of Public Employees Local 1136 affects more than 70 municipal employees.

The previous collective bargaining agreement expired Dec. 31, 2012.

Negotiations have been going on for eight months.

The length of time for the negotiations was because of difficulties in scheduling meetings between the municipality’s chief negotiator and the representative of CUPE National.

Representatives from the union and the municipality are pleased with the outcome.

“This is a solid five-year agreement which protects both sides, “ said Mayor Janice Perrino.

“We want to thank all of the parties involved for working hard to come to an agreement that everyone can live with.”

Don Darling, director of works and utilities for the municipality, said the agreement provides stability.

“I think it’s a really good agreement for both sides,” he said.

He said the five-year length of the agreement is longer than the normal three-year term for municipal union agreements.

Darren Krell, president of CUPE 1136, also said the agreement was fair.

“It’s very good news for our members and for the district,” he said. “It’s a very fair contract for both sides.”

Mayor Janice Perrino said the length of the new contract is good news for the community.

“These deals are hard to negotiate,” she said. “The fact that we have five years really gives stability to both sides.”

Under the agreement wages will increase two per cent in 2013, 1.75 per cent in 2014 and two per cent a year for the remaining three years of the contract.

The increases cover cost of living increases, Perrino said.

The agreement affects all municipal employees except electrical workers who are covered under a separate agreement. That agreement will be up for negotiation in 2014.