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BURNABY—After eight months at the bargaining table, members of CUPE Local 1816 at Pacific Blue Cross have ratified a new four-year collective agreement. 

The package includes reinforced language on benefits, wage increases of 1, 2, 2 and 2.5 per cent respectively and a $500 lump sum payment in the first year. Language has been included to help mitigate lay-offs in the event of a reduction in the workforce. The contract runs until July 31, 2014.

We are very pleased to have carried out the mandate of our members by staying strong on protecting our benefits,” said CUPE 1816 president Beth Miller, adding that “for the first time, we were able to reach an agreement without taking a strike vote.”

Pacific Blue Cross provides health, dental, life and disability coverage for more than two million individuals and union members working primarily in education, municipal, health care and government.

The more than 600 CUPE members working at Pacific Blue Cross represent a wide range of job classifications including underwriters, benefit examiners, disability claim representatives, benefits administrators and call centre employees.