Public works and stadium employees get 9.4 per cent wage increase
AMHERST - Amherst's public works and stadium employees have signed a new three-year collective agreement with the town that provides for a 9.4 per cent wage increase.
"It's a very fair contract. We wouldn't be here signing today if it weren't," CUPE Local 1233 president Matt Gould said Tuesday while signing the contract at town hall.
"It was unanimously accepted by the members."
Members of the union that represents about 30 employees will receive a hike of 3.2 per cent in the first two years and three per cent in the final year. The contract expires March 31, 2012.
As well, the agreement includes a new vacation provision for employees who have been with the town for 24 years or more, allowing them six weeks vacation per year.
Gould said the contract came together quickly in that both sides exchanged proposals one day and then got together about a month later to finalize the new deal.
"There's a lot of trust between the two sides and that helped move things along really quickly," Gould said.
Quick negotiations and feelings of mutual trust might also be a result of frequent labour-management meetings.
Amherst Mayor Robert Small is pleased with the pace of negotiations and suggested the new contract is fair to the employees and the town.
See NEW CONTRACT - Page 2
"There was an element of trust between both groups and that made it go really swiftly," the mayor said. "It's a reasonable settlement considering the economy."
The increase this year will cost the town about $45,000 and has been allowed for in the operating budget.