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After more than a year of bargaining for a new collective agreement, the members of CUPE 774 who work for the City of Abbotsford began job action on June 26. The union participated in mediation last week, but did not reach a settlement.

CUPE national representative Al Ens says that outstanding issues are wages, term of agreement and pay and job security for seasonal workers.

The employer is seeking a five-year agreement. The union is prepared to look at that, but with an agreement that long, we need protection against inflation and an ability to keep up with other municipalities, particularly in the last year of the agreement,” says Ens.

CUPE 774 represents 463 workers who work in all areas of city operations including parks and recreation, sewer, water, fleet vehicle maintenance (city, police and fire), city hall administration, taxation, bylaw enforcement, and fees and licences.

While many city services are affected by the job action, those related to the safety and health of the public are being maintained. These include sewer and water services, some roadwork, and fleet maintenance related to police and fire.

The current collective agreement expired Dec. 31, 2004 and bargaining began in April 2005.