New Rate Increases

Communication Update:

  • New pay rates will be visible within EmpCenter on March 19, 2017.
  • Retro will be paid on the April 7, 2017 pay date.

If you have any questions or concerns; please contact the union office at: 306-352-8282.


Town of Taber takes over water and sewage services from EPCOR

Taber Town Council has decided to end its 20-year utilities contract with EPCOR just nine (9) years into the agreement. EPCOR was under contract to provide Taber with its water and sewage services.

The move to end the working relationship comes after the company proposed to increase utility rates by 68%.

All 10 EPCOR employees will now work for the Town of Taber to ease the transition.

“We brought the employees in-house,” Town of Taber CAO Cory Armfelt said. “There are certain savings we will see by not going to a third party, and we will be able to provide the same service that EPCOR has done.”

“It’s closer to home, it’s more hands-on (now),” Taber Mayor Henk De Vlieger said. “We have our own departments in place that have the knowledge to deal with this and I think the hands-on approach will benefit the town.”

Details about how the contract was broken were not released, however, both the town and EPCOR said the move wouldn’t result in any penalties or buyouts. The town also said there will be no utility increases for this year.

In a recent release, The Town of Taber expressed gratitude for all of the work EPCOR did in the community since the initial agreement was signed in 2008. The company financed a number of large infrastructure projects, including a wastewater treatment facility and the North Storm Pump Station.

City reaches tentative agreement with CUPE 21

Published on: January 31, 2017

Leader Post

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.”


Sask. Trade Unions enduring tough economic times, rolling back wages

LP published on: January 6, 2017 | Last Updated: January 9, 2017 7:41 AM CST

As Saskatchewan’s economy continues to struggle, trade unions in the province are needing to find ways of staying competitive. Garnet Greer, business manager at the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW), says there has been talk of lowering wages for its members to weather the economic storm.

Alberta’s IBEW local 424 reduced its commercial wages at the end of 2016. “We see it coming our way,” he said. “Our province is resource based and every resource now is probably at the bottom of the cycle, so with that, construction is the first to dry up.”IBEW is looking at other options as well, like changing scheduling or bringing on more apprentices. “It’s not always monetary reductions,” he said, likening the current downturn to the one seen in the early ’90s.

The International Association of Ironworkers Local 771 has roughly 300 people unemployed right now. Business manager Colin Daniels says that, “right now, we’re feeling the effects of the economy downturn” and that “there’s nowhere to go in Western Canada right now so it’s pretty tight all over.” Already the union adjusted its commercial rates, moving hourly wages from $53.48 to $46.04.

“You’ve got to be competitive, right?” says Daniels. The economic downturn is the first for many ironworkers who started working around 2008, when the economy started growing. “It’s been an eye-opener for some of these young guys who got in the trade about eight, nine years ago,” he says. “They’ve never really been laid off. “All the toys that come with making money — houses, boats, cars — are falling at the wayside.

“Now they can’t make the payments,” says Daniels. Business manager for Local 179 Plumbers and Pipefitters 179 Bill Peters says they are feeling the pressure on the commercial side more than the industrial side of business. “We’re still picking up some of the larger jobs,” he says. “Things are slowing down, take a look around Regina there isn’t as much (getting) built.” For now, he is staying positive and says they aren’t in a position where they need to reduce wages in order to stay competitive.

“To cry wolf yet? No,” he says, noting there is still the Co-Op Refinery and other projects in the province needing welders and pipefitters. We’ve never really taken huge increases as we went up.” He also points out that, “when we get our journeymen papers, that’s a journey” and as such, “somewhere along the line, there’s a job down No. 1 Highway.”

Trade unions aren’t the only unions having to take steps to deal with the economy: Premier Brad Wall suggested public sector unions may have to face wage rollbacks, as well.


Ratification Vote – Result

Result of the Ratification Vote:

The contract was ratified by 92.5% of the members that attended the three (3) scheduled meetings held January 11, 2017.

The ratification vote by attending members approved a:

  • General Wage Increase (GWI) of 1.9% for each year (2016 / 2017 / 2018)
  • Plus other Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) enhancements.

Your bargaining committee appreciates your participation in this process.

The next step in this process is for Regina City Council to review and ratify the proposed agreement; we expect this to take place before the end of January 2017.

As always, if you have any questions, concerns or comments, please do not hesitate to contact your Union office at 306-352-8282.


City of Regina Retroactive Payment Request Form / Article 23 of the Collective Agreement (CBA)

Retroactive Payment Request Form states: In accordance with the applicable article within your Collective Bargaining Agreement, employees who have terminated their employment with the City of Regina prior to the signing of a new agreement can apply within the specified time frame listed below for any of the benefits contained in the new agreement.

Article 23 states: It being understood and agreed, however, any employee having terminated their employment with the City prior to signing this agreement except for reasons of superannuation or death fails to apply within two (2) months from the date of signing this agreement for any of the benefits herein contained shall forfeit any claim for such benefits.


Tentative Agreement

Sisters and Brothers:

As you may or may not be aware, our Collective Bargaining Agreement with the City of Regina expired December 31, 2015.

During that time Local 21 was under administration by CUPE National and Dave Stevenson was appointed by CUPE National to be the administrator. Dave Stevenson and his team put together the 2016 bargaining proposals and entered into the collective agreement amendment process with the City of Regina starting, I believe in the spring of 2016.

General elections were held May 10, 2016 and a new executive was duly elected by the members of our Union. Shortly after the election Dave Stevenson and Guy Marsden (both National Representatives) were re-assigned by CUPE National and Brother Bill Cronin (former president of Local 21) was appointed acting administrator and full time Local 21 CUPE National Representative.

Administration was lifted on November 1, 2016 and your Union was returned to you the members with a functioning executive who now became your Local 21 collective bargaining committee.

Your committee entered into ongoing discussions with representatives of the City of Regina and within a timely manner the bargaining committee was able to achieve a tentative agreement on December 16, 2016.

With a tentative agreement now in place the next step in the process is to have the members review and vote on this tentative agreement, with members of Regina City Council doing the same.

We are in the process of securing a date in early January to have a ratification vote. When the details are finalized we will provide notice to the members of the date and time(s) when you can attend, review and cast your vote. Said ratification meeting, review and vote will take place at the Italian Club located at 2048 Connaught Street, again, date and time to be determined.

I look forward to presenting the details of this tentative agreement to the members. I would also like to take this opportunity on behalf of your Local 21 executive to wish you and yours a very Merry Christmas and all the best in the New Year.

Tim Anderson, President

CUPE Local 21 reaches tentative agreement with EPCOR

The CUPE Local 21 bargaining committee reached a tentative agreement with EPCOR Water Prairies Inc. in the early morning hours of May 1, 2016. The Union and Company Bargaining Committees reviewed, discussed, revised and/or deleted every Article in the current collective agreement between the parties to develop a new first Collective Agreement specific to the Regina Wastewater Treatment Plant employees and EPCOR Operations. The ratification vote will take place Tuesday, May 10. No details of the tentative agreement will be released until the agreement is ratified.

CUPE Local 21-EPCOR Water Prairies Inc. Bargaining Update (May 4, 2016)

Arbitration board upholds union’s right to post referendum poster

A Board of Arbitration has sided with CUPE in a dispute over a posting on a union notice board during the contentious wastewater treatment plant referendum in 2013.

Along with the community coalition Regina Watch, CUPE Local 21 was a vocal proponent of the “Yes” side during the referendum campaign. The Yes side advocated for a publicly owned and controlled wastewater treatment plant to be built through the traditional public procurement model. Regina City Council and business groups supported the “No” side, which favoured a public-private partnership or P3.

At one point in the campaign, CUPE Local 21 developed a poster to promote a Referendum Barbecue event which took place September 17, 2013. The poster also included the following text: “YES! On Sept 25 vote to Keep water public! PLEDGE TO VOTE YES: Text YES 306.988.1754.”

Shortly after the union notices were posted, managers directed that the Referendum Barbecue posters be taken down from union notice boards.

In its March 6, 2016 ruling, the Board of Arbitration rejected the City’s arguments that the collective agreement provision in question – Article 3(D) – Notice Boards – restricted union postings to neutral information related to membership meetings, social events and such.

Writing for the majority of the Board of Arbitration, Arbitrator Allen Ponak wrote, “Under article 3D, the City agrees to provide easily accessible notice boards for the ‘sole use of the Union’ for the purpose of ‘posting notices of interest to the Union.’ The language in this provision is broad and contains no express restrictions, in contrast to contracts that require management approval before a notice may be posted.”

While the arbitration ruling pointed out that CUPE Local 21 would not be able to post notices that encourage illegal action or material that was defamatory or derogatory, it found that the referendum poster did not violate any of these limitations.

The Board of Arbitration stated that “unions are not precluded from posting partisan and political messages as long as the tone is not inflammatory or derogatory.”

“In the Board’s opinion, the Union had the right to communicate with its members through workplace notice boards established for its sole use on an issue, the referendum, that it believed was of interest to its members. Accordingly, the Board concludes that the instruction by management to have the referendum posters removed violated article 3D of the collective bargaining agreement. “

Read the full arbitration ruling here – Union Notice Boards Arbitration Award – CUPE Local 21-City of Regina

Download the disputed poster here – Referendum Poster