At their respective meetings on Tuesday, Dec. 6, the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) Local 2092 and Town of Creston Council each ratified a new collective bargaining agreement for the unionized employees of the town.
“With inflation tracking at over 7 per cent in 2022, it was important for the Town of Creston to find a balance in wages and how it impacts our valued workforce,” said Mayor Arnold DeBoon. “Our unionized employees are key in many of the essential services provided to our residents. Having a long term agreement until 2026 is an important factor to maintaining those services.”
The ratification vote followed negotiations between the parties, which concluded with the signing of a Memorandum of Agreement on Nov. 30.
The terms agreed upon by the parties include wage increases of 2.5 per cent in 2021, 3 per cent for 2022, 3 per cent for 2023, 3 per cent for 2024, and 3.25 per cent for 2025.
The new agreement is set to expire on Feb. 28, 2026.
Included as part of the agreement was a $1,500 one-time payment to employees for cost of living adjustment. There were no changes to other monetary benefits. The wage adjustments for 2021 and 2022 will be paid retroactively to CUPE Local 2092 employees on payroll at the date of signing the Memorandum of Agreement.
“Finding common ground on wages and benefits in uncertain times can be a daunting task, and I want to thank our team and CUPE Local 2092 for finding that path forward representing a balanced and fair approach,” said DeBoon.
There are a number of comparisons in the labour market for public sector employees in re- cent labour settlements. In September 2022, the BC Government Employees Union (BCGEU) settled on a three year agreement that included a $0.25 raise plus 3.24 per cent in 2022, 6.75 per cent in 2023 and 3 per cent in 2024.
In the Kootenays, the City of Rossland settled a three-year agreement with 3.5 per cent in 2022, 3 per cent in 2023 and 3 per cent in 2024. The Rossland agreement also included a one-time payment of $2,500 for cost of living.
The previous CUPE Local 2092 collective agreement with the Town of Creston expired Feb. 28, 2021. The Town had budgeted for the potential of wage adjustments for 2021 and 2022.