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VICTORIA The 900 employees of the Capital Regional District and Capital Region Housing Corp. reached a tentative agreement today, giving them an 8.5 per cent wage increase over four years.

The CUPE workers also negotiated improved benefits and a cost of living wage adjustments if Victorias consumer price index exceeds wage increases. The pact also settles the 10-year long pay equity process with the workers achieving their goals of four years ago.

We have reached this settlement because our members stayed strong throughout the long negotiating process, CUPE Local 1978 president Mark Robinson said. “Without this solidarity it would have been much more difficult.”

In June the union had voted 92 per cent for a strike. The parties were assisted by a mediator in September and concluded the talks today without outside assistance.

CUPE members will vote on the package within two weeks. The Greater Victoria Labour Relations Association (GVLRA), which represents the CRD, must still ratify.

CRD employees ensure the delivery and safety of the region’s drinking water, maintain sewer systems, do regional planning, building inspection and bylaw enforcement.

They also work at the Juan de Fuca, Sooke and Saltspring Parks and Recreation Centres and the Panorama Recreation Centre. They provide finance, engineering, information technology and other services.

They work in recycling administration and operation of the Hartland landfill, animal control, regional parks development and maintenance and naturalist programs. They also administer and maintain 41 rental housing projects with 1190 suites.

Their collective agreement expired Dec. 31, 2000.


Jim Lamb, CUPE National Representative, (250) 384-8048.