Unionized municipal workers reach deal with District of Sooke

The agreement includes wage improvements of five per cent over the five-year term

The District of Sooke has reached a five-year deal with CUPE Local 374 representing unionized municipal workers.

The agreement includes wage improvements of five per cent over the five-year term.

Unionized municipal workers will see successive pay increases of one per cent on Jan. 1, 2016, one per cent on Jan. 1, 2017, one per cent on July 1, 2017, one per cent on Jan. 1, 2018 and one per cent on July 1, 2018.

The agreement also includes changes in contract language and provides greater clarification and certainty for both the union and district, say officials.

“Mayor and council are pleased to have a new five-year agreement that will continue to foster a positive working relationship with our unionized employees,” said Mayor Maja Tait.

“This agreement reflects a commitment to fiscal responsibility and the long-term financial sustainability of the organization.”

Traditionally, the two groups have waited until after the Greater Victoria Labour Relations Association bargaining units inked new deals. The GVLRA represents larger municipalities in the region.

Sooke workers have been without a contract since Dec. 31, 2013.

CUPE Local 374 president Shireen Clark called negotiating a long process.

“There’s been much back and forth. Nobody could agree,” she said, adding there has been a lot of changeover with management.

The union represents 20 employees among the district’s departments including recreation, public works and administration.

“We’re happy to conclude this round of bargaining and look forward to working productively with the employer,” Clark said.