City of Winnipeg settles with inside workers

Wages and benefits frozen for first year of four-year contract

After what union negotiators called “a very tough round of bargaining,” the 4,600 members of the Canadian Union of Public Employees working for the City of Winnipeg have ratified a new collective agreement. The vote was completed on March 25.

The union had a strike mandate, but no deadline had been announced during mediated negotiations.

The vote came in at 85 per cent in favour, a healthy percentage in the current climate.

The new agreement has no wage increase in the first of four years, but one per cent in the second year and 2.5 per cent in each of the third and fourth. Job security is continued for the term of the agreement. Shift premiums increase by 5¢ per hour in the second year.

On February 18, 87 per cent of the membership rejected a tentative agreement that also had job security, but no increases for two years.

There are also a number of adjustments to benefits. Vision care and tool allowance will be increased, again in the second year. And, in the fourth year, there will be $950,000 to be allocated to benefits and adjustments. The way in which they will be allocated will be negotiated and agreed by the city and the union.

Pension funding will be increased and there will be funding for education and training; there were no details of these changes in the union’s summary.

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