Employees at Canada’s largest union avert strike

More than 400 CUPE staff avoid countrywide job action

The Canadian Staff Union (CSU) has successfully averted a strike by its members who work for Canada's largest union, the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE). Initially poised for an Oct. 10 strike, the more than 400 servicing representatives, administrative staff and technical staff work in every province except Quebec.

While no immediate details of the agreement are available, pensions continued to be the major stumbling block in negotiations. The CSU claims that the current pension plan has a funding surplus of $77.8 million.

The union was issued a “no-board” report earlier last week after the two parties were unable to reach a negotiated settlement.

A notice posted on CSU’s website says that during the 2007 bargaining round, CUPE staff agreed to a 41 per cent increase in pension contributions to eventually achieve a funding valuation of 105 per cent. The post says that this would guarantee eventual future indexation. In the previous agreement, the plan was not automatically indexed.

Both parties are recommending CSU members accept the agreement.

The workers had been without a contract since Dec. 31, 2009.

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