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City of St. John’s outside workers ratify four-year contract

In early June, City of St. John’s outside workers ratified a new, four-year contract with the municipality. CUPE National Representative Ed White says the members of CUPE Local 569 accepted the deal, which came into effect on July 1, 2010.

The deal includes wage increases as follows:

  • July 1, 2010 – 4.5%
  • July 1, 2011 – 4.5%
  • July 1, 2012 – 3.5%
  • July 1, 2013 – 3.0%

White says the city workers will also vote on participating in a dental plan, a benefit that hasn’t been available until now. Two other groups, CUPE Local 1289 and city management staff may also be required to participate in voting on the dental plan. Should the majority of employees from the three groups reject the dental plan members of the 569 Bargaining Unit will see an additional 0.5 per cent added to this year’s wage increase.

The union was also able to achieve some other modest improvements including:

  • A sanitation worker wage increase of $0.30 per hour prior to general increases
  • A shift premium increased by $0.35 to $1.00 per hour
  • An increase in meal allowances from $5 to $10
  • A change to the first class operator rate – elimination of a summer rate that paid employees less in summer than winter

Local 569 president Bill Sheppard said, “We hope we have turned a new page with the city on labour relations and our focus over the next four years will be to ‘contract in’ services that are currently provided by an outside source. Our members have the skills to provide these services to city residents in an efficient and cost-effective manner”