Members of the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) Local 9-01, working at the Palliser Regional Library workers in Moose Jaw, Sask., approved a new three-year contract.
At a ratification meeting in December, workers voted 85 per cent to approve the new deal. Although management decided to use a labour relations consultant, the negotiation process was described as respectful, said the union.
The new contract will see all classifications receive a $0.40-per-hour raise in each of the three years (2018, 2019 and 2020). In agreeing to the pay increases, both sides felt that any wage increases should be based on an hourly rate, said CUPE.
“Many of our members are working for very low wages,” said Stacey Landin, president of CUPE, Local 9-01. “If we fought for a wage increase based on percentage, many of our members would not have received much of an increase at all. This new contract ensures that over the next three years, every one of our members will see more money for their families.”
In addition to pay increases, some important issues were addressed, including start-date seniority and workplace safety. The issues of workplace safety were also expanded to include a domestic violence component, said the union.
“In many cases of domestic violence, the abused do not have the financial resources to escape their violent relationship,” said Landin. “That’s why it’s so important that our members will now be supported and protected.”
The final longstanding issue that has been resolved is that of seniority. Many library workers are referred to as call-ins. These are employees who receive shifts by phoning in to book hours based on availability. This has often been a disadvantage for longtime employees who must work more than one job just to survive, said CUPE.
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