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MEDICINE HAT, AB - Employees of the County of Newell who belong to the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) are looking forward to a 10% raise in their wages.

The 23 employees recently ratified their collective agreement, which gave them a 5% raise in 2005, to be followed by another 5% raise on January 1, 2006.

“The settlement, which is above the cost of living, shows the value of belonging to CUPE,” said D’Arcy Lanovaz, President of CUPE Alberta. “When people work together they get better wages and more respect at the workplace.”

The settlement includes provisions where employees will get bonuses of up to $500 if they use less than 30 hours of sick time per year, and improvements in the benefits package.