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CUPE 358 Duncan and North Cowichan civic workers have seen a few changes in the last week. Not only did they ratify a new collective agreement, they welcomed new president Ron Salvati and said goodbye to retiring president Thomas Turner.

Their new agreement provides for wage increases in each of three contract years. As well as benefit improvements, the agreement includes increases of two per cent in the first year, two and a half per cent in year two, and three per cent in the final year.

Salvati thanked the bargaining team for their hard work and thanked retiring president Thomas Turner for his dedication and years of service. 

Thomas’ leadership and dedication has meant a lot to our Local,” said incoming president Ron Salvati. “Over the years he gave many hours of work above and beyond. And he’s pledged continued help over the next couple of years to support me as I take over my new role.”

Turner had served as the Local’s president for seven years. He told members that he appreciated the mentoring, encouragement and support he had received when he became president. Turner’s most memorable moment was in October 2005 when CUPE 358 members took part in solidarity actions in support of free collective bargaining rights for teachers.

You showed me your faith and commitment to the labour movement and to your Local,” Turner told CUPE 358 members. “To have you beside me as we walked the walk that day, was the proudest day a president could ever have.”

Turner said that CUPE gave him a great education. He’d like to develop it and take it to another level, but he’s not sure where that will be.

CUPE 358 represents 375 full and part-time inside and outside workers at the City of Duncan, District of North Cowichan, Cowichan Valley Regional District, Cowichan Golf & Country Club, Duncan Meadows Golf & Country Club, and Arbutus Ridge Security.