VANCOUVER - A year after negotiations first began and after 88 days on strike, CUPE 1004 members finally have a contract and one that the members have overwhelmingly ratified (85% City; 81% Parks) in a vote today, Sunday October 14, 2007.
“We’re excited to have a fair contract that we can be proud of,” says CUPE 1004 President Mike Jackson. “This contract will help retain skilled employees and attract new ones. This is beneficial for the workers, but it is also beneficial to the City and the public that requires quality public services.”
CUPE 1004 members voted today on a tentative agreement that was reached Friday between the union and the City after Foley’s recommendations did not pass the local union’s two-thirds majority test. The final contract is based on the recommendations, but also includes items that were “tweaked” by the two parties, including:
- Improved benefit coverage - acupuncture has been added to the list of items covered and employees will receive complete benefit coverage after their first month of employment rather than after their sixth month.
- A joint committee to address the assignment of overtime was established.
- The Olympic partnership agreement was adjusted to include an expedited dispute resolution process and system for assigning Olympic work.
- Areas of feasibility (horticulture, golf courses, sanitation) were identified for consideration by the compressed work week committee.
- Return to work agreement includes extension of time limit to return from 10 days to 14 days.
- Grievances will no longer be deemed abandoned after 90 days.
The workers will begin returning to work on Monday, October 15, 2007.
“We are looking forward to getting back to work,” says Jackson, “and appreciate the patience and support we have received from the public as they have done without regular garbage, parks and street services for almost three months now.”
Jackson is still uncertain how many CUPE 1004 members will ultimately return to their city jobs, since so many found alternate employement during the strike. However, they do have two weeks, which should allow those who are working time to give adequate notice. He is encouraging his members to return to work for the City of Vancouver, saying the contract is a fair one and vowing he will work with the employer to improve management-employee relations, which have been hurt by the strike and tensions leading up to it.
CUPE 1004 has two different contracts, one with the City of Vancouver (approx. 1200 workers in water, sewage, street repairs, garbage collection) and the other with the Vancouver Board of Parks and Recreation (approx. 700 workers in sanitation, grass mowers, gardeners, outdoor lifeguards, etc.).
For more information, please contact:
Mike Jackson, CUPE 1004 President, 778-908-8070
Diane Kalen, CUPE Communications, 778-229-0258