RDKB, union sign new deal

Unionized regional district employees are smiling after reaching a new collective agreement that sees an increase in salaries and improvements to employees’ benefits.

Unionized regional district employees are smiling after reaching a new collective agreement that sees an increase in salaries and improvements to employees’ benefits.

After about two days of bargaining, the Regional District of Kootenay Boundary and the Canadian Union of Public Employees (Local 2254) arrived at a three-year deal, which was sealed at last Thursday’s regional district board meeting.

The regional district employs an array of different unionized workers, from administrative staff to building inspectors, landfill employees and those who work in recreation.

“We’re pleased that the negotiations went well and we have a three-year contract with our union employees,” said board chair Marguerite Rotvold in a news release.

The new contract includes a wage increase of 1.85 per cent in 2011 for its 97 union members, which is lifted again by 1.8 per cent in 2012 and, lastly, 1.8 per cent in 2013.

The agreement also changes the employees’ vision care program – an increase to $600 from $400 over a two-year period – along with similar improvements to its dental, hearing and life insurance programs. Negotiations also resulted in clarification of language in regards to seasonal, part-time and casual work, sick time, vacation, overtime and banked time.

“That’s it in a nutshell,” said Elaine Kumar, director of corporate administration for the regional district. “It was mutually agreed upon.”

just for clarification purposes.”

The new contract will take effect Jan.1 of this year until Dec. 31, 2013.