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The City of Barrie north of Toronto has agreed to a union proposal to use joint job evaluation to settle the issue of wage parity between inside and outside workers.

The joint J.E. plan and wage increases totaling just under 6 per cent were the result of a months-long bargaining support campaign waged by the 240-member local.

The new, three-year collective agreement will provide across-the-board pay increases of 2 per cent retroactive to January 1, 1998, 2 per cent on January 1, 1999 and 1.75 per cent increase on January 1, 2000.

The wage gap between inside and outside workers dates back to when there were two separate locals in Barrie. The locals merged to become CUPE 2380. There were improvements to the outside workers’ existing sick-leave credit plan, which will be replaced by a combined short-term/long-term disability plan identical to the one currently in place for inside workers.

The agreement affects about 160 inside employees, including office, clerical, technical and administrative employees, and about 80 outside employees including hourly-paid maintenance workers in the municipal works and parks and recreation departments.