Warfield’s union employees ink three-year deal

After one long day of negotiations on June 25, the Village of Warfield's union employees successfully settled a three-year contract.

After one long day of negotiations on June 25, the Village of Warfield’s union employees successfully settled a three-year contract.

The municipality has eight year-round Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) Local 2087, all working without a contract since the previous agreement expired Feb. 28.

This time, however, the CUPE team had extra back up when asking Warfield council for a two per cent increase annually until 2018.

Last summer, union members approached the village’s seasonal pool staff to become part of the negotiations, says Allana Ferro, vice president for the Warfield sub Local CUPE 2087.

An affirmative vote from Warfield Centennial Pool employees means new contract language defines seasonal lifeguards and other pool jobs as a union position. Prior to that, the summer student works crew was included in union pay grades, but not pool staff, most of whom are also summer students.

Now that Warfield union workers have settled, that leaves Trail with just over 50 employees currently working without a contract and Rossland’s Local 2087 also without a contract  since Feb. 28.

The City of Trail’s agreement expired at the end of February, confirmed David Perehudoff, Trail’s chief administrative officer (CAO), noting that a date for negotiations to begin has not been determined.

“Talks were scheduled to commence in June,” he said. “But were delayed due to a change in staffing at CUPE,” Perehudoff continued. “The National Representative who serves in the capacity as chief negotiator changed in July and CUPE felt it was best to wait until the new staff member was fully up and running before commencing negotiations.”

Calls to the City of Rossland were unanswered by press time.

Local 2087 is a composite Local serving the three Lower Columbia municipalities as well as Montrose and Fruitvale employees.

The Montrose contract ends in 2017, and Fruitvale’s next year.

Other Local 2087 members include the Trail and District Public Library, Columbia Valley Counselling Centre Society, the Rossland-Trail Country Club, Redstone Golf Course,  and Trail Transit Services.

Additionally, most employees with the Regional District of Kootenay Boundary are CUPE workers but members of Local 2254. They are currently within the middle of their contract, said CAO John MacLean.

With a Canada-wide membership of about 600,000, CUPE represents workers in health care, education, municipalities, libraries, universities, social services, public utilities, transportation, emergency services and airlines.