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City of Victoria, primary staff union ink four-year agreement

Contract with CUPE 50 retroactive to Jan. 1 of this year, modest wage increases seen
The City of Victoria and its largest union, CUPE Local 50, have agreed on a new contract that runs through the end of 2020. Victoria News file photo

Labour peace will prevail at the City of Victoria through the end of 2020, with a deal reached between the municipality and the Canadian Union of Public Employees Local 50.

The new collective agreement, the first independently negotiated contract in 40 years between the two groups, is a four-year deal but extends back to Jan. 1 of this year, as the previous contract expired on Dec. 31, 2016. CUPE 50 is the largest union at the City, representing 850 workers.

“The ability to negotiate directly with our workers has resulted in a collective agreement in line with others across the province, new opportunities for students and apprentices, and an unprecedented four-year agreement,” said Mayor Lisa Helps in a statement.

CUPE 50 president John Burrows added that the direct negotiations allowed for a clear understanding of issues facing City employees.

The deal includes wage increases of 1.5 per cent in the first year and two per cent in each of the following three years. That falls in line with similarly negotiated settlements in other B.C. municipalities including White Rock, Squamish, Vancouver and the Comox Valley Regional District. Provisions in the deal will see the City and CUPE work with local educational and trades training institutions to support co-op work placements and apprenticeships.