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NELSON—Members of CUPE 339, Nelson municipal workers recently settled a collective agreement with the City.

CUPE 339 president Bev LaPointe, said that, “the climate at the bargaining table this round reflected the strong desire, by both parties, to reach a deal and get to the business of providing quality public services to the citizens of Nelson.”

The five-year contract will be in effect until December 31, 2012. The new agreement allows for 3 per cent in each year and an additional 1 per cent in July 2008. Included in the package are increases to meal allowances and improvements to health benefits such as sick leave and dental care. Public workers in Nelson will get vision care for the first time.

“Vision care was really important to members and we’ve been fighting for it a long time. We were able to hold on to retirement benefits for members and spouses, despite changes to the municipal pension plan,” says LaPointe.

The contract also includes first-time wages for students attending post-secondary institutions to have the opportunity to provide public services while attending school; improvements to union leave language to include First Nations and other Aboriginal elections and organizations; and flex time language that allows workers to better meet the needs of their families while they are meeting their work obligations.

This was the first round of bargaining for CUPE 339 since 2004 negotiations when they were locked out for ten and a half weeks. CUPE 339 members – inside and outside public workers – provide services for parks, public works, bylaws, finance, and water and wastewater in Nelson.

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Contact: Janet Szliske, CUPE Communications, 604.454.7293