The three-year agreement, ratified on March 20, will expire in December 2007. It is basically a rollover of the current contract and contains wage increases of 2.5 per cent on January 1, 2005; 3 per cent on January 1, 2006 and 3 per cent on January 1, 2007.
In February, CUPE 458 members in Harrison voted 100 per cent in favour of strike action and launched a community campaign urging neighbours, friends and supporters to tell Harrison’s Mayor and Council that “Village workers deserve Respect.”
“We are pleased to finally have an agreement,” says Louise Piper, CUPE 458 President. “These workers and the community need stability following more than two years without a contract. Our Respect campaign made an impact on the community’s understanding of what was happening to these workers and boosted the morale of members.”
CUPE national representative Susan Jansen, who has been at the negotiating table, says that the union will now focus on ensuring that the provisions of the collective agreement and the work of CUPE members are respected. “We know we will be in bargaining again soon, and we will be working to build on the new energy in the union and the community.”
CUPE 458 represents the 11 village workers who provide vital public services like water and wastewater operation, clerical work, beach maintenance, gardening and garbage pick-up for the resort community of the Village of Harrison Hot Springs.
The Local also represents the municipal workers of the District of Kent, District of Hope, Hope Recreation, Fraser Valley Regional District, Cultus Lake Parks Board and the City of Chilliwack.
For more information, please visit the CUPE Local 458 website: www.458.cupe.ca