Deal reached between City of Richmond and outside workers

The City of Richmond’s outside workers have won a 6.75 per cent wage hike over four years, according to a new collective agreement announced Wednesday.

Members of the Canadian Union of Public Employees Local 394 and the city came to terms one year after the previous contract expired.

The new contract covers the period from Jan. 1, 2012 to Dec. 31, 2015. It offers wage increases of 1.25 per cent for 2012, 1.75 per cent 2013, 1.75 per cent in 2014, and two per cent in 2015.

According to a news release from the city, the two sides also agreed on “a number of changes that will result in efficiency improvements in city operations.”

The wage increases are the same as city workers in Vancouver agreed to last fall.

CUPE Local 394 represents over 350 outside workers based at the city’s public works yard, parks department and recycling depot.

The previous collective agreement for unionized workers at city hall also expired Dec. 31, 2011. Those workers, represented by CUPE Local 718, have yet to reach a new deal.

That previous deal was considered the best ever by union leaders, offering a 17.5 per cent wage increase over five years.

According to city spokesperson Ted Townsend, bargaining is ongoing with CUPE Local 718.

The International Association of Fire Fighters Local 1286, another union of the city—covering over 200 employees—has an agreement that expires Dec. 31, 2013.

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