A months-long strike by the Prince Albert city staff moved toward a close Friday with members of CUPE 882 voting 81 per cent in favour of a tentative deal. The workers will remain on strike, however, until the city ratifies the contract and a return-to-work agreement has been negotiated, the union said.
Assuming the deal goes forward, city staff will receive an 11-per-cent increase in wages over four years and insurance coverage for vision care. A family-assistance program will be made available for casual workers and workers at the lowest classification levels for wages will receive an additional 40-cent per hour pay bump. Fees for mandatory recertification will also be removed.
“Despite the city’s mind games, we were able to reach a deal with real improvements for our members,” CUPE national representative Mira Lewis said following the vote. “These gains clearly show what we said in the beginning: if you sit down and talk with the union you can reach an agreement that works for both sides.”
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Prince Albert mayor Greg Dionne expressed relief at the support for the deal. “The last several months have been very challenging, and I am glad we have been able to find a resolution within our original mandate,” he said. “I would like to thank the citizens of Prince Albert for their patience and support throughout this process as the city worked to limit tax increases.”
The city and CUPE882 reached a tentative agreement once before in September, but the agreement was not ratified due to changes made to it by the city.
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