Published on: January 31, 2017
CUPE 21, which represents outside city workers, finally reached a tentative agreement with the City of Regina on Monday night. The agreement, which was approved by council, will see a general wage increase of 1.9 per cent per year from 2016 to 2018. “It is good news,” Mayor Michael Fougere said. “It is always good news when you have a collective agreement. It is good news for everyone who pays taxes and uses services in our community.”
The previous collective bargaining agreement between the city and CUPE 21 expired on Dec. 31, 2015. Notice was served to commence collective bargaining two months prior on Oct. 1. Three weeks later, the elected officials for the union were cleared from their positions. Such a move is only done in an emergency and in the best interest of the local and its members.
Bargaining officially commenced on March 29, 2016.
“Both the union and our administration did a very fine job negotiating and brought in an agreement that is fair for both sides,” Coun. Bob Hawkins said. “This agreement will improve working conditions and promote good relations with our employees.”
Along with the wage increase, there will be a new management’s right clause that will recognize the rights of management to direct the workforce. In addition, there will be a health spending account for eligible employees currently covered by the medical plan to the amount of $100 in 2017 and $200 in 2018 and beyond.
There will be a minor enhancement to the bathing suit allowance for lifeguards, paid medicals for employees whose job descriptions require Class 1A or Class 3A licences and language for what is permissible to be posted on union notice boards.
Over the course of the three years of the agreement, the total cost to the city will be $6.9 million. “It is a good news story,” Hawkins said. “It is a fair agreement for the city, the taxpayers, and especially the workers.” Coun. Barbara Young felt that the agreement helped to build a strong relationship between the city and its workers.
“One of the most important things in this is that we made progress building a positive relationship,” she said. “Kudos to everyone who sat down at the table.”
Coun. Mike O’Donnell also praised the work of the city and the union.
“This is about the relationship with the people who work with us and the relationship with the people who work with the people of Regina,” O’Donnell said. “We make sure our staff are looked after and treated well.”