Town, union come to terms

Darrell Cole
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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.
"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.

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Recent comments

  • peter
    February 24, 2010 - 23:45

    This wage increase is well ahead of the pace of inflation. Certainly not showing restraint in an economic downturn. It must be good to work for government of all levels. Not having to worry about job security or regular wage increases in wages and benefits. Of course both sides are happy with the contract, if they fall a little short on funds, just sock it to the property tax bill.

  • Concerned ratepayer
    February 24, 2010 - 23:45

    I have to concur with Peter's comments. The ADN hasn't provided us with the whole story .... you should have gone a step further and given us the wage range for these employees. The increase is 9.4 per cent of what?? Are they making $30,000, $40,000 or $50,000 per year or more?

  • SpuddyBuddy
    February 24, 2010 - 23:45

    The 9.4 per cent is over three years...3.2 in each of the first two years, then three in the final year.

  • know it all
    February 24, 2010 - 23:45

    Wow 10% wage increase that is a big increase when most of us working people are getting 2% at best . The town is always so quick to part with our hard earned money . If this was a company and they gave their employees a 10% increase they have better have a 20-30 % increase in business to pay for it . again wow