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VANCOUVER - The 400 members of CUPE 873-02 have a new contract. The agreement was ratified yesterday by a vote of 84 per cent in favour with 216 of a possible 315 ballots cast. The members work in emergency communications in Southwestern B.C.

The new agreement is a three year contract to take effect retroactively to January 1, 2009. Wages increase annually 3.5, 4 and 4 per cent respectively.

Com 1 and report agents (which represent about 40 per cent of the workforce) will go up one pay grade (approx. 4.25 per cent) in addition to the yearly increases. There will also be labour market adjustments of two pay grades for classifications considered to be under industry standards.

The employer’s share of MSP health care premiums will increase to 100 per cent from 70 per cent.
Also in the new contract are minor advancements in dental, hearing aid and visual amounts, as well as increases in funeral and compassionate leave lengths.

Employees will now get direct pay cards for medicine, which they will pay for, but the costs will be made up for by an increase in MSP premiums paid for by the employer.

As well, the probationary period for new employees will be reduced to three months from nine months.