City reaches tentative deal with CUPE

The city reached a tentative agreement with its largest union Thursday morning — avoiding layoffs, for now.

Canadian Union of Public Employees Local 503 represents 6,300 inside and outside employees, or 37% of the city’s workforce.

“In keeping with the usual labour relations practices, the details of the tentative agreement are confidential until ratified by the union membership and city council,” wrote city clerk and solicitor Rick O’Connor in a memo addressed to Mayor Jim Watson and all councillors.

City council was prepping to slash jobs in any department if salary hikes with unions strayed from plans to keep taxes at an annual 2.5% increase.

The collective agreement expired on Dec. 31, 2011 and members can’t strike.

“CUPE 503 President Brian Madden has indicated that he anticipates presenting the tentative agreement to his members later next month, after which it will be submitted to council for ratification,” O’Connor wrote.

Local 503 members include full-time, part-time and casual employees at libraries, municipal long-term care facilities, city hall, community care access centres, social housing projects, and parks and recreation.


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