Transit union OK’s 4-year deal with city

The membership of one of the city’s transit unions has endorsed a new four-year deal with the city Tuesday night.

Members of CUPE Local 5500 — representing OC Transpo’s transit supervisors, fleet garage supervisors and special constables — voted overwhelmingly in favour of the offer.

The local represents 164 workers.

“We had a 77% turnout and 95% voted in favour of a four-year deal,” union president Wayne Watts told the Sun just after 9 p.m.

Workers will see benefit gains as well as a wage increase of 1.5% in the first year, 1.75% in the second and third years, and 2.2% in the final year.

The length of a contract is usually three years but the extra year was added “so that we don’t make it a political mess,” he said, adding it ensures labour issues are avoided for the next four years.

With three previous contracts under his belt, Watts said he’s pleased with the OC Transpo management team and Lynne Huneault, who works in labour relations.

“I’ve been involved in the union for 20 years and it’s the first time I’ve ever sat down with the city where I honestly felt that there was good faith bargaining going on from both parties,” he said. “We worked together to get a deal done.”

The deal will be presented to city council for ratification on Aug. 17.

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