The City of Penticton has reached a collective agreement with CUPE Local 608 for the 178 city employees responsible for a broad range of services from labourers to lifeguards.
Under the terms of the four-year agreement, the city expects to achieve a minimum savings of $394,000.
“As part of the 2011 budget process, the city identified a number of areas that needed to be addressed as part of the structural deficit. These included cost savings and efficiencies across all levels. The ratification of the collective agreement was achieved by the city and CUPE Local 608 working together,” said Mayor Dan Ashton.
“I am pleased that the matter is resolved without job action so we can refocus our energy to better serve the citizens of Penticton,” Ashton continued. “I applaud the dedication of the employees on both sides of the issue in working together to bring the best results for Penticton in these economically challenging times.’’
Penticton council ratified the deal, achieved after several days of intense negotiations, at a meeting held on Tuesday. CUPE Local 608 members voted in favour of the agreement at a meeting held on Wednesday.
The city began negotiations with the union on Dec. 13, 2010. The agreement signed replaces the one which expired Dec. 31, 2009, and will cover the period from Jan. 1, 2010 to Dec. 31, 2013.
Highlights of the agreement are: a signing bonus of $300 in lieu of a wage increase for 2010; current employees will receive wage increases of one per cent for 2011, 2012 and 2013 effective April 1 of each year; improvements to benefits and language; and seniority has been extended for all community centre employees on layoff until the reopening. New hire rates have been established for lifeguards at $18.50 an hour (plus a 68-cent an hour premium when instructing); for labourers at $18 hour; for labourer II at $18.68 (new hired labourers who advance to Labourer II); and for RCMP guards at $20 an hour. In addition to the rates, is the inclusion of benefits or one per cent in lieu of benefits