CUPE workers in the Municipality of North Cowichan will receive a raise totalling eight per cent over the four years of their new contract that was recently signed.
The 223 members of CUPE Local 358 that work for North Cowichan will also see improved eye-care benefits, improved sick leave benefits for new hires and increases to meal and work-specific clothing and gear allowance in the new collective agreement.
In addition to these benefits and increases, the collective agreement was modernized with gender neutral pronouns and job titles that aim to eliminate gender stereotypes within positions.
The CUPE workers provide a wide range of municipal services; including recreation, engineering and operations, administration, planning, and bylaw enforcement.
“This agreement provides continued stability for both the municipality and CUPE Local 358,” said Mayor Al Siebring.
“Reaching an agreement such as this takes tremendous work, problem-solving, and compromises, and I want to thank staff and union representatives for their efforts.”
Kirsten Boyden, president of CUPE Local 358, said the collective agreement will allow the union’s members to continue to provide excellent public service on behalf of the municipality.
“We would like to thank the municipality for their collaborative approach in finding common ground and reaching this agreement that was supported by the vast majority of our members,” she said.
The last contract talks in 2017 between North Cowichan and CUPE Local 358 were more difficult, and a collective agreement was signed only after a mediator appointed by the BC Labour Relations Board was brought to the negotiating table.