CUPE 4500 members have ratified a new four-year collective agreement with Coast Mountain Bus Company that includes wage increases, significant benefit improvements, and other provisions that address concerns the local has raised since bargaining began in late 2018.

Members voted overwhelmingly to support the no-concessions agreement, reached on January 28, at three separate meetings held on Monday (February 10).

“After 14 months of hard work, we’ve reached an excellent agreement that we’re very happy with,” said CUPE 4500 President Neil Pepper. “It wasn’t easy, but we worked with this employer to find solutions that will make a big difference moving forward, both for our members and for the public we serve.”

The agreement includes an 11.5 per-cent wage increase over the life of the contract, a skilled trades adjustment in the first year, and retroactive pay back to January 1, 2019.

Benefit improvements include provisions for eyeglasses and laser eye surgery in addition to routine eye exams, psychological counselling (doubled annually to $2,000), and increases for acupuncture and appointments with podiatrists and speech language pathologists. There are also improvements to bereavement and birth/adoption leave, and retiree life insurance doubles to $2,000 annually.

The agreement also calls for CUPE flags to be flown at all six Coast Mountain depots in the Lower Mainland.

CUPE 4500 represents approximately 190 frontline transit supervisors including Communications Supervisors, Transit Supervisors, and Maintenance Supervisors who work for Coast Mountain Bus Company.