For members of CUPE 358 working for the City of Duncan, voting in favour of ratifying a new collective agreement is just the first step in working with the municipality to provide better services for residents.

The new four-year contract, running from January 1, 2021 to December 31, 2024, provides wage increases every year along with other improvements including access to more vacation for new employees, more support for casual and temporary employees, and improved allowances and premiums.

While happy to achieve a new collective agreement, CUPE 358 members know that the work continues to make sure public services for Duncan residents are delivered well.

“We are going back to the grassroots of this relationship and will work to improve the services the people of Duncan depend on,” said CUPE 358 President Jeff Parker. “We are committed to working with the city through the Labour Relations Committee to rebuild trust by concentrating on a solid foundation of mutual respect.”

This last round of negotiations was challenging for the CUPE 358 City of Duncan Bargaining Committee. Members rejected a previous agreement in principle and the bargaining process reached an impasse that required mediation to overcome. Through persistence and a public relations campaign, the union held firm and was able to make sure members’ priorities were reflected in the new agreement.

“Improving our workplaces means improving our community because our work is the community,’ said Parker. “Our members live here and are proud to provide quality public services for everyone, including their own families.”

As the City of Duncan does not have its own internal human resources department, Parker hopes the ongoing work of CUPE 358 engaging members and bringing their wisdom and expertise to the Labour Relations Committee will be beneficial for all residents.

“Duncan employees know what it takes to keep our community beautiful, prosperous, healthy and safe,” said Parker. “Now that we have a new collective agreement, we look forward to working together with the city to make Duncan even better.”