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PEACE RIVER DISTRICT - CUPE Local 2403 representing 19 employees at the Peace River Regional District who work in Dawson Creek and Fort St. John ratified a 4-year collective agreement last night.

The new agreement provides wage increases in each of the 4 years of 3.4 per cent, 2.8 per cent, 2.7 per cent and 2.9 per cent. In addition, employees who work as casual labourers will see a $4.52 per hour raise as the contract rectifies a historic inequity for the casual workforce.

“This agreement recognizes the value of the work our members provide for the district,” says Suzanne Garrett, local unit chair. Garret is a 25-year employee with the Peace River Regional District.

Other improvements include an improved process to deal with harassment and discrimination complaints, improved flexibility in banking and taking overtime.

The most significant improvement was the reduction of the extended health deductible from $1000 per year to $200 per year. This gives employees greater access to their negotiated extended health benefits.

An interesting side note, negotiations took place on May 16th and 17th, during energy conservation day. All lights at Regional District Headquarters were off during negotiations.