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CUPE extends a warm holiday welcome to approximately 1,100 members of the Halifax Civic Workers Union (Local 108).

A nine-month service agreement approved by a majority membership vote on December 17 means that Local 108 members will be receiving full assistance from CUPE during a critical round of contract bargaining in 1998.

Local 108 represents employees of the new Halifax Regional Municipality and the Halifax Regional School Board. It also represents a smaller group of waste treatment and recycling employees.

The service agreement takes effect January 1 and extends to September 30. Members will have the option of entering into a full merger with CUPE when the agreement expires.

Larry Power of CUPE’s Halifax office has been assigned to work full-time with Local 108 and to begin bargaining contracts for each of the three groups immediately.

Local 108 members will pay regular dues to CUPE during the period of the agreement. Besides a full-time rep, they will also haveaccess to all services provided nationally and regionally by CUPE, and to CUPE’s National Defence Fund.

Public sector bargaining has resumed across Nova Scotia for the first time since 1991, when the government imposed the first of a series of freezes and rollbacks.