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HOPE—Municipal workers have reached an agreement with the District of Hope and have a new contract, effective today. Members of CUPE 458 voted last night to accept the agreement and the District has also signed off on it.

The four-year contract includes 3% increases on January 1 of each year, some improvements to group life insurance, eye exam coverage and a boot allowance. The negotiating process was long, with some difficulties along the way.

“Despite the employer’s actions, our members are eager to continue providing quality services to our community,” says CUPE 458 president Louise Piper. “We want to move forward.”

Members of the local were critical of the employer who released details of the contract offer to the media before the workers had the opportunity to review them.

The contract will be in effect until December 31, 2011. It covers 28 municipal workers who provide services to the District of Hope, including support for the RCMP, services at District Hall and public works (road maintenance, water systems, sewer systems, landfill and parks).