PoMo workers get 6.75% increase over four years
Port Moody city staff will see their wages rise by 6.75% over four years thanks to a new contract they approved this week.
Members of CUPE Local 825 voted 92% in favour of the contract, which gives them a 1.75% increase in the first year, followed by wage hikes of 1.25%, 1.75% and 2%. The agreement is retroactive to Jan. 1, 2012.
Local 825 represents about 275 inside and outside workers in Port Moody as well as library staff.
"I'm pretty happy with the results," said Local 825 president Raman Braich. "We have a good relationship with the employer and I think the relationship helped us get a fair and equitable settlement for all parties."
The contract mirrors what New Westminster staff signed in September. Theirs was the first contract in Metro Vancouver to be ratified and was expected to set the standard for other bargaining committees.
PoMo Mayor Mike Clay said council is happy with the contract because the wage increases are kept at or below the rate of inflation. The agreement reflects the expected economic conditions now and over the next four years, he added, and "is fair to the taxpayers and employees."
"It's quite reflective of the economic times we're living in," Clay said. "It adjusts back to the last contract, which was signed when the economy was very strong. Unfortunately, in the last couple of years it seemed a little out of line."
In 2006, Port Moody was the first city to reach an agreement with its union, offering members a three-year deal with 9.5% in increases.
In 2007, however, Richmond offered its workers an extra 17.5% over five years to secure labour peace through the 2010 Olympics and Moody, like the rest of Metro Vancouver, followed suit, with staff receiving 4% increases in 2010 and 2011.
Clay said the five-year financial plan already has anticipated salary increases built in and the new contract does not affect it.
Contracts in Coquitlam and Port Coquitlam also expired on Dec. 31, 2011. In PoCo, CUPE Local 498 president Brian Savage said negotiations are scheduled to start on Jan. 23 and they'll likely pursue the precedent set by New West and PoMo. In Coquitlam, negotiations are expected to start soon but no dates have been set.