Vancouver Art Gallery workers reach tentative agreement

Workers on strike since Feb. 5: CUPE
|labour-reporter.com|Last Updated: 02/15/2019
Collective agreement
Details of the agreement will be made available after the tentative contract is ratified, said the union. GOOGLE STREET VIEW

Striking workers at the Vancouver Art Gallery voted in favour of a mediated settlement on Feb. 11, effectively ending their week-long labour action.

“Our members successfully fought back against a number of concessions, and won several key provisions that will improve the working conditions and compensation of gallery workers today, and for years to come,” said  Warren Williams, Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) 15 president.

Workers walked off the job on Feb. 5 over wages and gallery managers’ attempts to eliminate long-standing scheduling rights. Through mediation the parties were able to agree on a four-year agreement that excludes the gallery’s proposed concession on scheduling, provides retroactive wage increases of 1.5 per cent in each of 2017 and 2018, and includes future wage adjustments of 1.75 per cent in 2019 and two per cent in 2020, said the union.

“The cumulative effect of these wage increases will see gallery workers’ paycheques increase by 4.75 per cent in 2019, and a further two per cent next year,” said Williams. “We are pleased the gallery agreed to retroactivity for the 2017 and 2018 increases and removed their remaining concession.”

CUPE 15 represents more than 7,000 municipal, community social service, education and not-for-profit workers in Vancouver, including the more than 190 unionized workers at the Vancouver Art Gallery.

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